Should passengers be vaccinated or tested to fly to the United States?

Dr. Patrice Harris, former president of the American Medical Association and chief executive of eMed, which sells coronavirus tests at home to travelers and Delta Air Lines, said the argument “is too complicated” is a poor excuse. “The key is to do the right thing, the easiest thing,” he said.

Hawaii is the only state that requests vaccination tests or negative tests from domestic visitors. To avoid quarantine, travelers can upload an image of their CDC-issued vaccination card or a negative coronavirus test to the state’s safe travel system. The system has gone through several iterations: At first, checking test results created terrible lines at airports and wreaked havoc on travelers with connecting flights, said Peter Ingram, chief executive of Hawaiian Airlines.

However, Mr Ingram was more positive than other executives interviewed about the expansion of this system across the country. “I wouldn’t say it can’t work,” he said. One of their main concerns is how to deal with acceptable exceptions to a vaccine warrant.

“Who will be the successful bidder?” he asked.

“It’s safe on board, safer than an operating room,” Deborah Flint, chief executive of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said during one of the panels at the air summit.

This line paraphrases a finding from a widely recognized study, conducted by the Department of Defense and published last October, in which it was found that air circulation systems in two types of large Boeing aircraft they were even better at filtering airborne particles than the filtration systems recommended for most hospitals. operating rooms.

Other research has also shown that air in a typical cabin cools down every two to three minutes, inhibiting coronavirus transmission. But the risk of transmission increases when passengers do not wear masks properly, said Dr. Lin H. Chen, a former president of the International Society of Travel Medicine. (A case study published last week reinforced this point: a person who was not wearing a mask on a two-hour domestic flight in March 2020 to Japan appears to have infected at least 14 more people despite a modern air filtration system ).

Even with a federal mask warrant, some people on board do so and refuse to wear them properly. Others cannot wear them for medical reasons, because they are too young or because they eat or drink. But even assuming that everyone 2 years or older (the airline’s standard age for mask requirements) wears a suit, experts still don’t know how the new variants change the equation, the doctor said. David Freedman, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Delta is much more transmissible,” he said.

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