Last week, the United States Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation and Health and Human Services and Health and Human Services announced new guidelines for airports and airlines in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new guidelines, named “Runway to Recovery: The United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus,” aims to mitigate the spread of the virus while protecting travelers and airline and airport employees.
“As we reopen the economy under President Trump’s Opening Up America Again guidelines, we are taking aggressive measures to protect the American people from COVID-19 as they reengage their travel plans,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf.
“Air travel is critical to our economic recovery and DHS has been working closely with our partners in the aviation industry throughout every step of our response to this pandemic to ensure that we are facilitating travel in a safe and secure manner.”
Some of the most notable guidelines include:
- Create barriers to disease transmission;
- Increase social distancing measures;
- Minimize points of contact with surfaces and people;
- Ensure cleanliness of all areas with potential for human contact;
- Know how passengers arriving on international flights can be reached if exposed to COVID 19; and
- Specialized training for aviation workers, especially airline crew.
Each of the three government agencies involved [DHS, DOT, HHS] all contributed to the plan. According to a statement from the DHS, the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] has already implemented some of these safety measures through its own “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign.
The DHS said it will continue to assess measures needed as the pandemic situation changes.