Federal Mask Requirement for Transit
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a federal mask requirement for transit systems to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 based on President Joseph R. Biden’s Executive Order 13998, issued January 21, 2021. The Transportation Security Administration soon followed with a security directive implementing the CDC order.
Science-based measures are critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Mask-wearing is one of several proven life-saving measures, including physical distancing, appropriate ventilation, vaccination and timely testing, that can reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Requiring masks will protect America’s transit workers and passengers and help control the transmission of COVID-19.
TSA has extended the face mask requirement for all transportation networks, including public transportation, through March 18, 2022. TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on February 1, 2021, with an initial expiration date of May 11, 2021. It was first extended through September 13, 2021, and then to January 18, 2022.
While this announcement extends the date of enforcement, all other aspects of the requirement remain unchanged, including exemptions and civil penalties. TSA also issued a statement on the face mask extension.
Master Agreement Amendment
FTA issued an amendment to its Master Agreement to incorporate the requirements of the CDC mask order. FTA’s Master Agreement contains the standard terms and conditions that apply to every grant, cooperative agreement, and loan authorized by federal public transportation law or administered by FTA. The amendment includes enforcement actions FTA may take for non-compliance.
Mask Up Toolkit which includes background materials, talking points, digital assets, and print-ready resources, in English and Spanish, to support your outreach efforts. Each item is downloadable and shareable.
Federal Mask Requirement Stakeholder Calls
FTA is holding a series of stakeholder calls throughout February to provide guidance to the transit industry to ensure that all public-facing transit workers and passengers wear masks to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and help us work together to protect the health and safety of transit workers and passengers by promoting our “Transit Mask Up” message.
Past Stakeholder Calls
- Federal Mask Requirement Stakeholder Call (February 23, 2021)
- Federal Mask Requirement Transit Leadership Roundtable (February 16, 2021)
- Federal Mask Requirement Stakeholder Call (February 9, 2021)
- Federal Mask Requirement Stakeholder Call (February 2, 2021)
Frequently Asked Questions
For More Information
Please share the mask requirement information with colleagues and send questions to TransitMaskUp@dot.gov.