The Biden administration is extending the requirement that passengers on domestic flights, trains and public transportation wear face masks through mid-March amid worries about the new omicron COVID-19 variant.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to extend the mask requirement through at least March 18. The TSA previously extended the mask mandate in August through January 2022.
Under the rules, individuals who do not follow the mask rules will face a minimum fine of $500 with repeat offenders facing fines as high as $3,000.
The Transportation Department has not instituted testing or COVID-19 vaccine requirements for domestic travel, as it has for international flights, though Biden administration officials have said such requirements might be imposed on domestic travel, too.
The administration is also imposing stricter requirements for pre-travel testing for international travelers. Under its new rules, international travelers coming into the U.S. will need to present a negative COVID-19 test within one day of the flight regardless of vaccination status or nationality, rather than the current policy of three days.