The CDC has updated its guidelines for air travel and transportation, but there’s a problem
Industry experts wanted the CDC to go even farther with its recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidelines for those planning to travel by plane, trains and automobiles, and it’s basically a call to wear masks.
What’s going on?
The CDC said it recommends passengers and personnel wear masks on most modes of transportation, including airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, buses, taxis and ride shares.
- “People should wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when waiting or, traveling on, or departing from public. People should also wear masks at an airport, bus or ferry terminal, train or subway station, seaport or similar area that provides transportation.”
- “People should wear masks when traveling into, within, or out of the United States on conveyances.”
The CDC said there are some exceptions to the rules, and that the following people don’t have to wear a mask:
- People under the age of 2.
- Anyone with a written instruction not to wear masks.
- People with a disability or mental health condition that could stop them from wearing a mask.
- Anyone who, if wearing a mask, might “create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.”
Transportation industry leaders said the guidelines fall short of expectations since the coronavirus is still spreading in record numbers across the country, according to The Washington Post.
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, praised the recommendations. However, she’s not happy there’s still a debate about whether people should wear masks.
Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, told The Washington Post that the CDC guidelines are just recommendations — not necessarily rules.
- “But at the end of the day, these are still just recommendations. … To really give teeth to these requirements, there actually has to be a federal mandate,” he said.
- “The White House has made its hostility to common sense CDC guidelines, including their mask requirement, a central part of their message” he added.