Mask laws in America are getting closer and closer to what may be their last frontier: transportation. Masks will be phased out of planes, airports, and other public transportation in less than a month.
If American Airlines had had a say, it could have happened faster. Cargo carriers and the U.S. airline industry group, as well as Delta, American, United, and Southwest, have asked that mask requirements on public transportation and pre-travel testing requirements for international arrivals to the U.S. be removed.
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In a recent letter to the White House, they said, “It’s time to tear down transportation policy in the age of the coronavirus.” Some flights have had fights over face masks, and flight attendants have been attacked for following federal rules for the first time.
The Association of Flight Attendants (CWA), the country’s largest union of flight attendants, isn’t taking a side on the mask mandate because it has members on both sides of the issue.
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The flight attendants’ union at Southwest wants the mission to end. Two years into the pandemic, many people in the travel business want to make it as easy as possible for more travelers to move.
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But what do doctors and experts on how diseases spread think about removing precautions for the coronavirus? One thing is that it’s not either all or nothing. Travelers can still protect themselves, and rules can be slowly changed or put back in place if the number of cases increases significantly.
The number of cases in the U.S. has been going down for almost two months, but they have recently stopped. Health officials are keeping a close eye on the BA. 2 omicron varian.