Wednesday, 10 June 2020

United Airlines to require all passengers to do a self health assessment at check-in

The U.S. mega-carrier United Airlines has become the first major American carrier to now require all passengers complete a health self-assessment during their check-in process. 

This new checklist is designed to make sure people are "Ready-to-Fly" and asks them to confirm they have not experienced Coronavirus - COVID-19-related symptoms in the previous 14 days.  The questions will be asked regardless of the method of check-in customers may choose - so will be on the website,  app, self-service kiosks or asked by a physical check-in agent. 

This new "Ready-to-Fly" checklist includes:

You must wear a face covering while on board for the safety of everyone.
Have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 21 days. Have not experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days (excludes symptoms from a pre-existing condition)
Temperature of 38 C/100.4 F or higher
Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Muscle pain
Sore throat
Recent loss of taste or smell
Have not been denied boarding by another airline due to a medical screening for a communicable disease in the last 14 days.
Have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

"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. 

There is no word from United about any legal repercussions for any passenger who are not completely truthful with their answers or break the conditions of the agreement, nor is there any detail on how the checklist will be checked. 

"United's 'Ready-to-Fly' wellness checklist sets clear guidelines on health requirements for our customers and helps minimize the risk of exposure during the travel experience." Baylis said.

I'm not convinced this checklist will make travelling with United any safer,  to quote a famous TV show doctor, 'everybody lies' and whilst in reality, it might not be everybody,  but it is some people and if they agree to something that isn't perhaps completely true in order to get to something they simply must do, then they will.  For some, it may offer some reassurance, yet could that reassurance come at a price, of letting their guard down and putting themselves at greater risk?   Is it perhaps better to assume that everyone you come into contact with may be Asymptomatic and take the necessary precautions?  

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