22:54 PM

Federal mask mandate now in effect at U.S. airports

Tampa International Airport on Feb. 2 will begin supporting the enforcement of a federal face mask mandate that includes penalties for passengers and others who refuse to wear a face mask.

Refusing to wear a mask at the Airport is a violation of federal law and individuals who fail to comply with the new mandate may be removed from the Airport and denied re-entry.

Enforcement will be undertaken by several different entities at TPA, including airport police and designated staff members, the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the airlines.

Individuals without a mask will be asked to put one on, and those who don’t have a mask will be provided one free of charge. If an individual refuses to put on a mask, law enforcement will be called and additional actions will be taken as necessary.

The change comes on the heels of President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel, which was signed on Jan. 21. The order applies across a wide variety of modes of public transit, with a few exemptions, including children under 2 and people with a disability that makes it unsafe to wear a mask. Please see the CDC order for all exemptions.

Face coverings have been required at TPA since June 19, 2020 when Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s city-wide Executive Order went into place. The federal mask order eliminates certain exemptions allowed under the City of Tampa version, and allows for additional enforcement for those not in compliance.

Tampa International Airport has had a mask policy in place for employees since May 2020. For more information about what TPA is doing to keep its guests, passengers and employees safe and healthy, visit the Airport's TPA Ready page.