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United Airlines has added a new step to the check-in process ahead of all of its flights, which requires travelers to explain whether they have COVID-19 and are staying healthy.

What’s happening:

  • United Airlines tweeted out the new policy on Wednesday.
  • The new policy — called “Ready-to-fly” — includes a checklist that acts as a self-assessment related to COVID-19.
  • The checklist includes a reminder for people to wear a mask while on a flight. It includes a list of common COVID-19 symptoms. You must also declare whether you’ve experienced the symptoms within the previous 14 days before your flight.
  • The checklist also asks whether you’ve been denied by another airline to fly. And it asks if you’ve had close contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Why the steps were added:

Should you fly during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Experts haven’t agreed whether travel is safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released recommendations for air travel. Risks are connected to it.
  • CDC said: “Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.”
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