US doubles the fine for people who break mask rule on planes
The president also rebuked people who have been taking out their anger about the mask requirement on flight crews. “And by the way, show some respect,” he said. “The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong. It’s ugly.”
The mask mandate has been controversial and has led to many tense encounters between passengers who don’t want to wear a mask and flight attendants asked to enforce the rule. The Federal Aviation Administration said last month that airlines have reported 3,889 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, and 2,867 — or 74% — involved refusing to wear a mask.
The rule requiring masks on planes and all public transit will remain in effect until at least Jan. 18, the Department of Homeland Security said. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said masks will be required “as long as necessary” to protect public health amid the pandemic.
The mask order, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for responding to the pandemic, was first issued on Jan. 29, days after Biden took office. Before that, airlines had their own requirements for face coverings but former President Donald Trump’s administration had declined to make it a federal rule.