Story at a glance

  • “Broad and routine utilization of masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel more safely even during this pandemic,” the CDC said in its new guidance.
  • The new language gives the airline industry more cover to press passengers to adhere to mask requirements. The detailed recommendations follow a request from Vice President Pence to CDC Director Robert Redfield.
  • The New York Times reported earlier this month that the CDC previously drafted an order that required all passengers and employees to wear masks on public and commercial transportation and carried penalties, but the order was blocked by the White House.

The government’s top public health agency issued guidance on Monday strongly recommending that all passengers and employees on airplanes, trains, buses and other public transportation wear masks to control the spread of the coronavirus. 

The new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that traveling increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing people in close contact with others for prolonged periods of time. 


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“Broad and routine utilization of masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel more safely even during this pandemic,” the CDC said in its interim guidance. 

“Wide use of masks especially helps protect those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as well as workers who frequently come into close contact with other people,” the CDC said. 

The guidance from the CDC comes as airlines, airports, most transit systems and ride-sharing companies already require all passengers and workers to wear facial coverings, but have been met with resistance from the public at times. 

The new language gives the airline industry more cover to press passengers to adhere to mask requirements. The detailed recommendations follow a request from Vice President Pence to CDC Director Robert Redfield, according to The Washington Post

The New York Times reported earlier this month that the CDC previously drafted an order that required all passengers and employees to wear masks on public and commercial transportation and carried penalties, but the order was blocked by the White House. 

The CDC says airlines or other transportation providers should “disembark any person” who refuses to comply with mask recommendations. 

Exceptions to not wearing a mask include children under age 2, those with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a face covering and for travelers who take them off while eating, drinking or taking medication.  


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE COULD GET WORSE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

PROPOSAL TO LET CORONAVIRUS SPREAD NATURALLY THROUGH US POPULATION INTERESTS WHITE HOUSE, ALARMS MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT

EUROPE REENTERS LOCKDOWNS AS COVID-19 CASES SURGE

THE FIRST DEATH FROM A CORONAVIRUS REINFECTION HAS BEEN REPORTED

US SENATOR TOOK OFF MASK REPEATEDLY ON FLIGHT. HE CHAIRS COMMITTEE THAT OVERSEES AIRLINE SAFETY


 

Published on Oct 20, 2020