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NYC airport travelers will face $50 fines for refusing to wear a mask

The new safety rule goes into effect just in time for the holiday season.

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter

Travelers will now face a $50 fine for not wearing a mask in New York City airports, on AirTrains, PATH facilities and bus stations run by the Port Authority.

The new penalty, similar to the fine Governor Andrew Cuomo put into motion in September for subway and bus commuters, aims to boost mask compliance and goes into effect on Monday, November 2, just in time for the holiday season.

How does the fine work? You won't be hit with it right away unless you refuse to wear a mask all together. Port Authority will be encouraging voluntary compliance, but those who refuse to cover their faces, endangering other travelers, will have to pay up.

"Since March, the agency has used public announcements, posters and digital signage, mask giveaways and education days, and one-on-one interaction to make travelers aware of the health and safety protocols established by the states of New York and New Jersey in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Port Authority officials said.

nyc airport
Photograph: Shutterstock

Specific locations that'll be doling out the new fine next week include the Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airports, Midtown Bus Terminal, the George Washington Bridge bus station, the Journal Square Transportation Center and local PATH stations.

Countrywide, travelers are contemplating whether or not to book travel to fly to family for the holidays. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is advising New Yorkers not to travelBut if you must, airports in the New York Greater Area have also implemented rapid testing services to provide a bit more reassurance before hopping on a plane.

The specific tests offered at the airports are the Rapid Nasal Swab Test, which checks for active COVID-19 virus (and delivers results in 15 minutes or less), the Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests, which checks for the virus in the body, and Blood Antibody Tests, which checks for antibodies for the virus.  

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