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Tampa airport officials telling more passengers to mask up

(Matt Rourke | AP)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 11:09 AM EDT
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TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) - Officials at Tampa International Airport are seeing a concerning trend -- more passengers not wearing masks inside TPA terminals, a violation of federal law.

The Transportation Security Administration still requires people to wear masks not only while flying, but while inside airports, including all trains, shuttles and terminal facilities. The restrictions are in place until at least Sept. 13, according to the TSA website.

Tampa International’s Guest Services team distributes between 200 and 300 face masks per day to guests who need them, a news release said. “We are currently spending considerable time and resources reminding people to follow the federal mask mandate,” said Adam Bouchard, TPA’s Vice President of Operations. “We appreciate everyone’s efforts to be in compliance with the mask mandate and to ensure the health and safety of all our passengers, guests and employees.”

Passengers who refuse to wear a face mask are not permitted to enter the secure area of the airport, which includes the terminal and gate area. One hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per person continues to be temporarily allowed in carry-on bags.

Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of 2 and those with certain disabilities will continue. The existing civil penalty fine structure will also remain in place, which starts at $250 and rises to $1,500 for repeat offenders.

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