The Transportation Security Administration announced it will extend the mandate requiring masks for another month. 

The mandate requiring mask was set to expire on March 18, but it will now be expanded through April 18 on planes, busses, trains, and transit hubs. 

With this decision, the TSA said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will have time to develop new and more targeted policies considering the number of COVID-19 cases, and the risk of new variants. 

The mask mandate was reimposed days after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. Since then it has been extended several times.

Airlines began requiring masks among passengers and crew members in mid-2020, and have reported over 6,000 incidents of unruly passengers at the beginning of 2021. 

The documented disputes involved mask-wearing. 

The CDC said last week that 93 percent of the U.S. population is in a location where COVID levels are low enough that people do not need to wear masks. United Airlines said Thursday it would allow 2,200 unvaccinated workers to return to their normal positions as the pandemic recedes. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been 814 unruly passenger reports as of March 7, and 535 mask-related incidents. On Jan 13, 2021, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers in the wake of recent, troubling incidents.

In September, the TSA doubled the fines for people who refused to wear masks on public transportation to $500 to $1,000 for first-time offenders and up to $3,000 for repeat violations.

The FAA investigates unruly-passenger incidents that airline crews report to the agency. According to the FAA's most recent figures, there were 224 investigations initiated,100 FAA enforcement cases initiated, and 80 cases referred to the FBI for criminal review. 

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