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Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel


Effective Monday, February 1, 2021 until September 13, 2021

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a Security Directive to airport operators, aircraft operators, and surface transportation providers. The Security Directives are intended to implement the CDC mask order in accordance with the Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.

The directive becomes effective at 11:59 PM on Monday, February 1, 2021.

The Security Directive for airport operators contains very specific language that airports should include in their communications. ACI-NA encourages airports to include this language on public-facing websites and incorporate into voice announcements to ensure their own compliance with the Security Directive. Thank you to the team at San Antonio International Airport for translating this language into Spanish. Please let ACI-NA know if you need this translated into other languages to help inform your passengers or airport workers.


Federal law requires wearing a mask at all times in and on the airport and failure to comply may result in removal and denial of re-entry.

Refusing to wear a mask in or on the airport is a violation of federal law; individuals may be subject to penalties under federal law.


La ley federal de los Estados Unidos requiere el uso de mascarillas (barbijos) en las partes internas y externas del aeropuerto; el incumplimiento de esta ley puede resultar en la expulsión del aeropuerto y el re-acceso al mismo.

Negarse a usar mascarillas (barbijos) en partes internas o externas del aeropuerto es una violación de la ley federal. Personas que se nieguen a usar mascarillas (barbijos) podrán ser penalizadas bajo esta ley.

Near the start of the pandemic, ACI-NA developed a toolkit for airports as a component of our Ready for Every Journey campaign. We have updated a sign template to include this new language required by the security directive, in both English and Spanish. Airports are free to adjust or modify this template to suit your own local needs and brand.

Key Messages in the Security Directive:

By definition, “mask” means a material covering the nose and mouth of the wearer. The mask can be homemade. Face shields are not acceptable.

The Security Directive requires that airport operators to ensure direct employees, tenants, and vendors wear a mask at all times in or on the airport.

The directive includes three exemptions:

Children under the age of 2.

People with disabilities who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act.

People for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal requirements.