United Airlines on Wednesday announced a new requirement for passengers: Before boarding the plane, they must agree to wear a face mask and complete a health assessment to confirm they’ve had no coronavirus symptoms in the preceding 14 days.
Passengers also have to confirm they haven’t had close contact with anybody who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, been diagnosed in the last 21 days and not been denied boarding on another airline because of a medical screening in the last 14 days, according to a United news release.
After reviewing the list of symptoms and requirements on the checklist, passengers will be able to get a boarding pass if they click “accept” on the airline app, at a check-in kiosk or through verbal confirmation with an agent.
United is the first of the major US airlines to implement a self-administered health screening or assessment, as airlines seek to both ensure safety on flights, and to reassure potential passengers who may be avoiding booking flights due to anxiety over the virus, according to Business Insider.
Starting June 30, Alaska Airlines will require passengers to make a health agreement during check-in to verify that they haven’t exhibited COVID-19 symptoms in the past 72 hours, didn’t travel with someone who has symptoms and agree to bring and wear a mask.
One low-cost carrier, Frontier Airlines, introduced health assessments for passengers more than two months ago.
United has partnered with The Cleveland Clinic to develop coronavirus safety procedures. Other cleaning and social distancing protocols include touchless check-in for baggage at select locations, sneeze guards, and mandatory face coverings for crew and customers on flights, United said.
“The health and safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority, and we have been working closely with trusted medical experts and partners to institute new practices and procedures to further protect those who work and travel with us,” said Pat Baylis, United’s Corporate Medical Director.