The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) will start handing out fines to people using their facilities if they’re not wearing a face covering or face mask “appropriately”.
Those travelling through airport terminals, using PATH stations and trains, AirTrain stations and trains, and bus terminals run by the PANYNJ will be subject to a $50 (£38.54) fine if they don’t comply with face covering requirements from 2 November.
The directive covers major transport hubs such as John F Kenney and LaGuardia airport and trains running into the city from the airports, as well as bus stations with connectivity to other parts of the US.
PANYNJ said in a statement: “Today the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that it will impose a fine for failure to wear a mask or face covering appropriately in Port Authority facilities. Travellers could be liable for the new recommended fine of $50 effective Monday, 2 November, 2020.
“This move is part of [the] agency’s commitment to supporting the New York and New Jersey state requirements on mask wearing in transportation facilities.”
It added: “The Port Authority will continue to put primary emphasis on voluntary compliance. Since March, the agency has used public announcements, posters and digital signage, mask giveaways and education days, and one-on-one interaction to make travellers aware of the health and safety protocols established by the states of New York and New Jersey in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Major US airlines all currently have mandatory mask policies in place. Some carriers allow exemptions to those with medical conditions who cannot wear a mask, but others will refuse carriage to those who cannot wear a mask.
While PANYNJ does not require a specific kind of mask – only that it’s worn correctly (covering nose and mouth) – many airlines do have requirements about specific types of face covering.
American Airlines, Delta, and United have all banned face masks with valves on board their aircraft, for example.
It comes as similar fines were introduced on public transport in New York and New Jersey.