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President Biden orders masks on federal land and on board public transportation

Having been sworn in yesterday as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden went to work immediately upon his inauguration by signing a series of executive orders, several of which are aimed at controlling the COVID pandemic. -19 and stop its continuation. scattered throughout the country.

One of these new orders requires both visitors and employees to “wear masks, maintain physical distance,” and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while they are. on federal lands or inside buildings. That includes places like national parks and federal monuments, like the Statue of Liberty in New York.

It is the policy of my Administration to stop the spread of the coronavirus … relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures,” Biden wrote in his executive order. “Simply put, masks and other public health measures reduce the spread of disease, especially when communities make widespread use of such measures, thereby saving lives.”

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President-elect Joe Biden

Travel + Leisure reported that Biden plans to deliver on a campaign promise today by requiring that anyone traveling on public transportation wear masks, such as on buses, trains and planes, including at stations and airports. While airlines and train and bus companies have already instituted policies requiring all passengers to wear masks, a federal mandate carries more weight with the force of law behind it.

It was only earlier this month, following the deadly Capitol riots on January 6 and related incidents of pro-Trumpers and anti-maskers behaving in a threatening manner aboard flights, that the Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA) eventually stepped in, promising to prosecute those unruly and policy-violating passengers.

The FAA’s new law enforcement program applies to “passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member” or anyone else on board, and also extends to those who violate usage policies. of airline masks. Those who break the rules face penalties of up to $ 35,000 or possible imprisonment.

Previously, the only recourse for airlines to discipline passengers who refused to wear their masks on board had been to ban those customers from flying with them again. While many rule breakers have been added to the no-fly lists of various airlines during the course of the pandemic, that would not prevent such people from simply booking with another airline.

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