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There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that the worst of the worse is behind us as far as the coronavirus pandemic is concerned. One well-known health pundit, speaking on the Sunday talk shows, actually stated that he felt that America could and should feel "close to normal" by July 1st.  Dr. Ashish Jha, the Dean of Brown University's School of Public Health made those comments on ABC television's this week.

Last week we learned that New York City had targeted July 1st as the day when that city would fully reopen too. And the Centers for Disease Control is actually talking about letting cruise ships sail from American ports, with certain coronavirus caveats, by as early as mid-July. So, you can see, the situation is improving but we are not totally out of the woods yet.

That's why the Biden Administration is extending the face mask requirements that are currently in place for a few months longer. Currently, masks and face coverings are required across all U.S. transportation networks. This includes air travel.

TSA, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that face masks and facial covering will be required for all passengers and workers at U.S. Airports through at least September 13th. The mask mandate includes those who travel by commercial aircraft, over-the-road buses, and on commuter buses and rail systems too.

Since the mask mandate was issued TSA operators have reported nearly 2,000 passengers for not complying with the mask mandate. TSA is authorized to assess a civil penalty for non-compliance and those not wishing to wear a mask have been escorted off of aircraft for their unwillingness to comply.

TSA has acknowledged that certain individuals with verified disabilities may be exempt from the facial covering policy. The policy also does not apply to children who are two years old or younger.

So, while you contemplate getting on an airplane, just remember it's not always the things outside your home that can make you the sickest. For example, you might want to take a look at these places that are a lot closer than your hometown airport.

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