TSA is issuing Security Directive (SD 1542-21-01), effective 11:59pm Feb 1st, requiring masks to be worn to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during air travel. The SD is issued to implement the January 21, 2021, Executive Order on promoting measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by travelers within the U.S. and those who enter the country from abroad. This SD also supports enforcement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order mandating masks issued January 29, 2021. The CDC order requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation (which includes all passengers and all personnel operating conveyances). People must wear masks that completely cover both the mouth and nose while awaiting, boarding, disembarking, or traveling on airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares as they are traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories. People must also wear masks while at transportation hubs (e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, seaports) and other locations where people board public transportation in the United States and U.S. territories. To learn more about the CDC’s requirement for face masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs, as well as review a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the CDC’s website.
TSA developed the Security Directive requirements in consultation with the FAA and CDC. Please note, federal law requires wearing a mask at all times in and on the airport and failure to comply may result in removal and denial of re-entry. Refusing to wear a mask in or on the airport is a violation of federal law; individuals may be subject to penalties under federal law. To learn more about the requirement, please view the full Security Directive 1542-21-01.