Travelers in San Diego react to increase in TSA fines for mask rule violators


SAN DIEGO – Travelers in violation of the federal government’s mask mandate by air, bus and train now can expect even steeper fines for not complying.

Starting Friday, a new range of penalties are in effect for those violating the mask mandate, as outlined Thursday by President Biden as part of a COVID-19 action plan. First-time offenders could be fined $500 to $1,000 with second-time offenders facing fines of up to $3,000.

The mask mandate also recently was extended until Jan. 18, 2022, said Sabrina LoPiccolo, senior communications specialist for the San Diego International Airport.

Stopping in San Diego Friday, Houston resident Shiarnice Taylor told FOX 5 that flight attendants repeatedly had to remind passengers to wear masks properly. She’s in favor of the increase in fines.

“If you don’t want to wear your mask, don’t travel,” Taylor said, adding that people can decide whether or not they want the COVID-19 vaccine, but “don’t put the rest of us at risk because you don’t want to wear your mask.”

Also in agreement was Sacramento resident Jaquline Lewis, who said she has an autoimmune condition.

“This is humanity,” Lewis said. “This is people’s lives at stake. Children are dying, people are dying. We need to be mindful of caring about each other’s wellbeing and not just what’s political.”

Boulder, Colorado resident Lisa Tully said doesn’t agree with the increase, saying she only wears the mask because it is required.

“No, I don’t think they should be fined,” Tully said. “This is America. We should be free.”

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