End mask requirements on airlines and pre-departure testing for overseas travelers
Several major US airlines claim that the limits are “no longer consistent with the reality of the contemporary epidemiological environment.”
US President Joe Biden has been encouraged to abolish a federal mask rule on flights as well as international pre-departure testing procedures, according to the top executives of American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, and other airlines.
Several airline executives signed a letter saying that the limits “no longer correspond to the reality of the present epidemiological environment.” They included the chairman of Southwest Airlines and JetBlue’s CEO.
Current Covid-19 mask regulations at airports, train stations, ride sharing vehicles, and other means of public transportation will be extended until April 18 by the Biden administration, the government said last month. The injunction was supposed to expire on March 18, and it has already expired.
According to the airline letter, “it is incomprehensible that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes while being permitted to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools, and sporting events without masks, despite the fact that none of these venues have the protective air filtration system that aircraft do.”
The White House refused to comment, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced earlier this month that it was trying to draft “a new regulatory framework for when, and under what circumstances, masks should be needed in the public transit corridor.”
Several European airlines, notably Easyjet, British Airways, Jet2.com, and Tui Airways, have modified their mask-wearing policies in recent weeks, according to industry sources.
Aer Lingus and Ryanair, on the other hand, continue to demand passengers to wear masks aboard planes, and Dublin Airport requests that travelers wear masks throughout their airport experience.
A subsequent statement from Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that “with the better public health parameters in the United States and medical improvements to avoid the worst effects of Covid-19, the federal mask rule and pre-departure testing no longer meet the needs of the present environment.”
In accordance with current regulations, all travelers to the United States who are above the age of 18 must be completely vaccinated, and all travelers over the age of two must provide a negative Covid test result acquired no more than one day prior to boarding the aircraft.
In addition, the letter made mention of “thousands of airline staff” who were tasked with executing the Covid regulations.
Because of the mask restrictions, there has been a great amount of friction aboard flights. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been a total of 6,942 rowdy passenger incidents registered since January 2021, with 70 percent of them involving masking laws.
This past week, the United States Senate overturned a 13-month-old public health directive that required masks on aircraft and other modes of public transportation, prompting Vice President Joe Biden to issue an emergency veto threat. Biden was fast to issue the warning.
Republicans have voiced strong opposition to the mask mandate, pointing out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 99.5 percent of Americans live in areas where it is safe to forego indoor masks.
The letter referenced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, claiming that “the evidence strongly supports abolishing the mask rule.”
According to the CDC rule from 2021, the mask requirement might assist in the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 in crowded transportation environments.