Major US Airlines Approve Passenger Temperature Controls

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leading US airline trading group said on Saturday that it supports the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to check the temperatures of passengers and customer contact workers during the coronavirus pandemic .

FILE PHOTO: Passengers pass through Terminal 1, after other cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in New York, at JFK International Airport in New York, United States, March 13, 2020. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton / File Photo

Airlines for America, which represents the largest US airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines, said the controls “will add an extra layer of protection for passengers and airline employees airlines and airports. Temperature checks will also help build public confidence, which is essential to reviving air transportation and the economy of our country. “

An American official said on Saturday that no decision had been made on whether to mandate checks, but said the issue was the subject of in-depth discussions between government agencies and American airlines and added that a decision could potentially be made as early as next week.

A possible route would be a pilot project or the start of temperature checks at the largest American airports. Questions remain as to what the government would do if someone had a high temperature and was fired from a flight.

US officials said the temperature controls would not eliminate the risk of coronavirus cases, but could deter people from feeling unwell from traveling.

TSA administrator David Pekoske told employees at a local town hall Wednesday that no decision has been made regarding possible passenger temperature checks at airports and that questions remain the place where these checks could take place and the agency which could carry them out.

“This is a discussion that has been going on for several weeks,” he said.

A TSA spokesperson did not immediately comment on Saturday.

Frontier Airlines announced Thursday that it will begin monitoring the temperature of all passengers and crew on June 1 and will ban anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 ° C) or more.

The move, the first among major US airlines, follows the industry’s prescription for all passengers’s facial coverings and intensified cleaning procedures to address coronavirus problems.

The airline group said the temperature controls performed by the TSA “will ensure that procedures are standardized”.

The approval comes amid signs of a modest rebound in travel from historic lows. The TSA checked 215,444 people at the airport’s checkpoints on Friday, the first time that number has exceeded 200,000 since March 26. But that still represents a fraction of the 2.6 million people checked on the same day last year.

David Shepardson report; Editing by Chris Reese

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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