Biden Mask Mandate Fills Gap, But Enforcement Still Murky
Aviation Partner Anita Mosner spoke with Law360 about the federal mask mandate recently implemented by the Biden Administration. As of Feb. 2, 2021, all U.S. travelers must wear face masks on planes, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-shares — or face the threat of fines and penalties under the new policy, augmenting the arsenal available to transportation providers and agencies to curb the spread of COVID-19. As the article notes, it remains to be seen just how robust enforcement will be. Mask-wearing has become a particularly fraught issue at airports and on commercial flights, where confrontations between passengers and flight crews have been recorded and widely shared on social media.
"The industry has long pushed for a federal mask mandate, and while airlines have had very robust and thoughtful policies regarding the wearing of masks, having the failure to cooperate with them be an underlying federal violation — that gives airlines, flight crews and others the necessary tool in their regulatory enforcement arsenal," Ms. Mosner said. "To some extent, it will help drive compliance by actually being able to cite to something in black and white."