Effective 8:00 p.m. AST, February 1, 2021, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin implementing the requirements of the Presidential Executive Order and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order mandating the use of masks while on airport property. See TSA Security Directive.
Failure to comply with this mandate may result in removal and denial of airport entry. Individuals refusing to wear a mask in or on the airport property may be subject to penalties under federal law.
Passengers and airport employees must wear a mask at ALL times while on airport property, except:
- When necessary to temporarily remove the mask for identity verification purposes.
- While eating, drinking, or taking oral medications for brief periods. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted for eating or drinking; the mask must be worn between bites and sips.
- While communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- If unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated , unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
This federal requirement does not apply to:
- Children under the age of 2.
- People with disabilities who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
- This is a narrow exception that includes a person with a disability who cannot wear a mask for reasons related to the disability; who, e.g., do not understand how to remove their mask due to cognitive impairment, cannot remove a mask on their own due to dexterity/mobility impairments, or cannot communicate promptly to ask someone else to remove their mask due to speech impairments or language disorders, or cannot wear a mask because doing so would impede the function of assistive devises/technology. It is not meant to cover persons for whom mask-wearing may only be difficult. CDC intends to issue further guidance regarding this exception.
- People for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.
- Private vehicles.