MIAMI – The Airlines for America group (A4A) is meeting with Vice President Mike Pence today at the White House, as both are set on continuing taking measures to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak.
A4A declared in a statement that major airline CEOs would discuss “pragmatic” solutions with the Vice President.
In the past few days, “solutions to help contain and stop the spread” of coronavirus were developed by several carriers, “even offering to pay for the implementation of a website and mobile app” for contact data, added A4A.
White House meeting actions
Regarding the Washington meeting, Pence said, “the topic will be contact tracing data and how we can have a stronger relationship in the 11 airports that have been assisting us with screening personnel coming back into the country.”
After some carriers have waived change fees since January and, most recently, in February, due to the expansion of the coronavirus in South Korea and Italy, public authorities are requesting more collaboration in data and precautions to tackle possible cases not yet identified during flights.
Other US administration actions to face the COVID-19
Alongside the above-mentioned actions, Pence plans meetings with the CEOs of leading commercial laboratories in order to “clear up any potential barriers”.
In addition, the US administration added more entry screenings to check the body temperature in flights arriving from South Korea and Italy. It is expected, according to Pence’s declarations on Tuesday, that the measure will extend to routes from Japan.
US airports with entry screenings
On January, there were only five airports with this tech: San Francisco International, California (SFO), Los Angeles International, California (LAX), O’Hare International, Illinois (ORD), Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, Georgia (ATL) and John F. Kennedy International, New York (JFK).
By now, at least 20 airports, following the previous ones plus Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in Puerto Rico, have entry screenings, as reported by the Washington Post:
- Anchorage Ted Stevens International, Alaska (ANC).
- Boston Logan International, Massachusetts (BOS).
- Dallas-Fort Worth International, Texas (DFW).
- Detroit Metropolitan, Michigan (DTW).
- El Paso International, Texas (ELP).
- Honolulu International, Hawaii (HNL).
- Houston George Bush International, Texas (IAH).
- Miami International, Florida (MIA).
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Minnesota (MSP).
- Newark Liberty International, New Jersey (EWR).
- Philadelphia International, Philadelphia (PHL).
- San Diego International, California (SAN).
- Seattle-Tacoma International, Washington (SEA).
- Washington Dulles International, Virginia (IAD).
“As the virus spreads, federal and state agencies continue to develop response standards, travel restrictions and warnings, and preventive measures,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
“In considering the dangers and risks of travel, Americans should not have to face the additional burden of flight cancellation or change fees,” added the Senator from Connecticut.