A fine of 50 US dollars will be imposed starting Monday on those who refuse to wear masks at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports, on the trains that link Manhattan to New Jersey, and at the Port Authority's bus terminals in Midtown and Washington Heights, according to the agency's latest announcement.
The move aims to execute the requirements of gubernatorial executive orders in New York and New Jersey, and comes as the city's rate of COVID-19 infection is on slight incline during this fall season to nearly 2 percent, a benchmark Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday said could trigger business closures and more restrictions on gatherings.
"By making individuals not wearing masks subject to a 50 US dollars fine, we are emphasizing the criticality of the mask mandate," local media quoted Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton as saying. "We have seen very high percentage of compliance with the mask requirement... We're still going to put heavy heavy reliance on achieving voluntary compliance."
Air travel at the three airports in September remained dismal with passenger volumes down roughly 87 percent from the same month of 2019, shows the data from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a joint venture between the states of New York and New Jersey, established in 1921 through an interstate compact authorized by the US Congress.
The pandemic cost the agency 1.2 billion US dollars in revenue during the first nine months of the year, local media quoted authority officials as saying.