On Friday, April 30, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including commuter buses. TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on Feb.1 and was set to expire May 11.
On Monday, May 3, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued two executive orders, 2021-101 and 2021-102, suspending and invalidating all remaining local emergency orders based on the COVID-19 emergency. These orders do not supersede the TSA’s requirement and face masks continue to be required when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking Votran buses. People must also wear a mask when on the premises of Votran facilities.
Per the CDC, the following are attributes of masks needed to fulfill the requirements of the order:
• A properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth.
• Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
• Mask should be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. If gaiters are worn, they should have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers.
• Mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
• Mask should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.
Per the CDC, the following do not fulfill the requirements of the order:
• Masks worn in a way that does not cover both the mouth and nose
• Face shields or goggles (face shields or goggles may be worn to supplement a mask that meets above required attributes)
• Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or bandannas
• Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose.
• Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
• Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic or leather)
• Masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures
• Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
Face masks are available on all Votran buses and facilities. Individuals who refuse to wear a mask will not be permitted to board the bus.
For additional information on the order issued by the CDC, visit https://www.tsa.gov/sd-and-ea.