CDC Issues ‘Strong’ Call for Wearing Masks on Airplanes, Trains
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “strong recommendation” for mask-wearing by both passengers and operators on planes, trains, buses and taxis to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Masks should cover a person’s nose and mouth and be worn while traveling in and out of the U.S. as well as within the country, the agency said. Operators should require them for the entire time of travel and deny entry to anyone not wearing one.
“Traveling on public conveyances increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing persons in close contact with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces,” the guidance on the CDC website states. It notes that many states, localities and other countries have implemented mask requirements, as have transportation operators.
The change was reported earlier by The Washington Post, which said it followed airline industry pressure and a request from Vice President Mike Pence. A note at the bottom of the webpage states it was last reviewed on Monday.
The new CDC guidance comes as travelers have begun flying anew, though still at far reduced levels compared with the year earlier. The airlines began requiring masks more than five months ago, and toughened their rules as the pandemic worsened across the U.S.
In June, Airlines for America, a trade group representing big carriers, said its members would step up enforcement of face coverings. The trade group has also encouraged federal officials and U.S. airports to require masks.
There are only some select instances in which operators can allow masks to be removed, including briefly while eating and to verify one’s identity during a security screening, according to the CDC. Some exceptions to mask-wearing may occur, including for children under age 2, the agency said. CDC guidance has previously stated that travelers may wear masks, along with taking other safety measures like social distancing.
(c)2020 Bloomberg News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
Today, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said the state has shipped its one-millionth N95 mask as part of ongoing efforts to ensure frontline workers have access to the critical personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to limit their exposure to COVID-19. The announcement comes after Evers recently... Read More
Efforts to speedily develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. won't be derailed by a change in administration, said the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's program aimed at accelerating a COVID-19 jab. "All decisions are made, the train is running. Whether one administration... Read More
NEW YORK — A COVID-19 vaccine may be months from reaching millions of Americans. Getting all those shots into arms will be a monumental task. Shreveport, Louisiana, is getting ready now. The city recently completed a test run, one of about a dozen across the state. Health officials... Read More
WASHINGTON — Front-line workers on Capitol Hill are continuing to contract COVID-19. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 153 legislative branch employees have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19, according to a Democratic aide for the House Administration Committee. This cumulative total, as of Nov. 18, includes 59... Read More
As health officials warn of the risks of Thanksgiving travel, more than half of Americans still plan to venture away from home, according to a new survey. The website Tripadvisor says 56% of people intend to take trips for the holiday this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, a... Read More
WASHINGTON -- It is traditionally the largest travel holiday of the year, however, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging Americans not to travel during this Thanksgiving holiday and to skip gatherings with family members outside their households. Officials with the agency... Read More