Authorities will start imposing a $50 fine starting from Monday on those who refuse to wear masks at the three airports in New York City. The rule will come into effect at the John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and the Newark Liberty International airports, as well as on the trains that link Manhattan to New Jersey, and at the Port Authority's bus terminals in Midtown and Washington Heights, Xinhua news agency reported.
"By making individuals not wearing masks subject to a $50 fine, we are emphasizing the criticality of the mask mandate," Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement on Friday.
"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," he added.
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 a slight incline to nearly 2 per cent.
This benchmark, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, could trigger business closures and more restrictions on gatherings.
Air travel at the three airports in September remained dismal with passenger volumes down roughly 87 per cent from the same month of 2019, according to data from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a joint venture between the two states established in 1921 through an interstate compact authorized by Congress.
The pandemic cost the agency $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of the year.