Fines for refusing to wear a mask on a plane will double, Biden says
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The federal government will double the fines charged against passengers who refuse to wear face masks on board aircraft, President Joseph Biden said on Thursday.
Financial penalties, which will be issued by the Transportation Security Administration — the agency that sets the mask mandate — will range from $500 for first-time offenses to $3,000 for repeat offenders, the TSA said, effective Friday, September 10.
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The federal mask mandate, which the TSA sets, is in effect until at least Jan. 18.
The TSA-issued fines for refusing to wear a mask are separate from the fines that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has charged against unruly passengers in recent months, which have ranged as high as $52,500 per incident. Nearly 4,200 incidents have been reported to the FAA so far in 2021, more than twice the amount of any other year.
The new fines were announced by Biden as part of a broader plan to try and stem the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Biden also called for the Department of Labor to issue a rule mandating that companies with over 100 employees require workers to either be vaccinated, or to undergo weekly testing for the virus.
Other steps announced as part of Biden’s plan included providing rapid home testing to Americans at reduced prices, and mandating that all federal employees and contractors get vaccinated.
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