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President Biden issued a mask mandate, here's where it applies

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Posted at 1:30 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 13:30:52-05

Some of the first executive orders signed by President Joe Biden are directives requiring masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus in this country. The orders, one about federal property and one about travel, are limited to locations and people the Biden administration has control over.

In addition, Biden is urging all Americans to wear face coverings for 100 days, with the idea being a concentrated effort for this long could help contain the spread of the coronavirus as vaccination efforts are ramping up.

Here is a look at how Americans may be impacted by the new executive orders:

Domestic travel

There is now a federal mask requirement that applies to airports, planes, ships, and many intercity buses, trains and public transportation.

Although airlines, Amtrak, and other modes of transportation already had individual or regional mask requirements, the executive order makes it a federal level requirement and helps backstop any wiggle room on the local level.

There are still unanswered questions about how this order will be enforced, and which modes of transportation, exactly, are covered.

International travel

Travelers coming to the U.S. from another country must show a negative COVID-19 test before heading to this country, and then quarantine upon arrival.

Federal property

Masks and social distancing efforts are now required on all federal property and federal lands. This includes places like federal courthouses, FBI or other federal agency buildings both in D.C. and around the country, and national parks and forests.

While regional or statewide mask mandates have informed local decisions at these locations, the federal level mask requirement helps ensure consistency of requirements on federal property.

Federal employees

All federal employees and contractors are required to wear masks while on federal property or otherwise on-the-job.