United is instituting a new requirement for passengers to fly starting Tuesday, June 9. Everyone traveling on United will be required to complete a health screening as part of the check-in process, and confirm that they’re willing to wear a mask.
Zach Honig reported on this new process and the questions that items United customers will have to acknowledge in order to fly.
- That passengers must wear masks on board
- That they haven’t received a COVID-19 diagnosis in the past 21 days
- They haven’t had any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days: 100.4 degree temperature or higher; cough (excluding from pre-existing conditions); shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (excluding from pre-existing conditions); chills; muscle pain; sore throat; recent loss of smell or taste
- And they haven’t been denied boarding by another airline “due to a medical screening for a communicable disease in the last 14 days.”
- Or had close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days
Anyone who can’t make all of these attestations must reschedule their trip.
Now I have to wonder who out there has potential symptoms of COVID-19 and is traveling. And who made the decision to travel with these symptoms but will also answer United’s questions honestly knowing that it would mean they cannot travel.
The theory here has to be that it just doesn’t occur to people that they may be sick and have symptoms of the novel coronavirus, because they haven’t been paying attention over the past four months. But when they go to check in using the United app it’ll be like a V-8 commercial.
Now I get a sore throat all the time from my allergies. I have one today. No fever, no fatigue, no loss of taste or smell. I don’t think I can ever fly and say I haven’t had a (somewhat) sore throat in 14 days.
And if I did have the virus, and recovered where I’m no longer infectious based on CDC guidelines, testing, and physician guidance, but 21 days hadn’t passed since a positive test I wouldn’t be permitted to fly.
I don’t feel safer because of these screening questions, but I suppose some people may feel United is doing something to keep them safe and they’re more willing to travel as a result. So the Straussian in me approves.