20:47 PM

TSA extends face mask requirement for airports and commercial aircraft

Travelers will need to wear face coverings at least through Sept. 13 when traveling by air, bus or rail.

Editor's Note: The CDC on May 13 reitterated the previous TSA mandate requiring all people, including fully-vaccinated children and adults over the age of 2, traveling in buses, trains and airplanes must continue to wear a mask. 


The Transportation Security Administration recently released an extension of the face mask requirement through Sept. 13 at all U.S. airports and aboard commercial aircraft, citing CDC guidance to keep travelers safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues worldwide.

The TSA requirement also applies to public buses and rail systems.

“The federal mask requirement throughout the transportation system seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation,” said Darby LaJoye, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator said in an April 30 press release. “Right now, about half of all adults have at least one vaccination shot and masks remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far.” 

Tampa International Airport has required its employees to wear masks since April 2020, at the same time strongly encouraging passengers to do the same. In June 2020, that encouragement was strengthened by a City of Tampa Executive Order that required face coverings for all at Tampa International Airport, including guests and passengers traveling through the terminals and facilities. In February 2021, TSA issued its own directive, giving airports more enforcement support and enacting civil penalties for air travelers not in compliance.  

Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of 2 years old and those with certain disabilities will continue, according to TSA.

For more information about COVID-19 safety measures and requirements at TPA, go to the Airport's TPA Ready page.