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Masks May Become Mandatory For Future Travelers

There have been lots of questions and concerns over the efficacy of face masks in helping to curb the coronavirus pandemic. However, as The Independent reports, for airlines and the wider aviation industry, the use of face masks is being seen as a confidence booster, something that could ease wary passengers back into the skies and revive a flagging sector.

Comfort And Confidence

The industry fears that many prospective passengers will be deterred from travelling if they believe flying places them at risk of contracting the virus from fellow travelers. The hope is that the universal use of face coverings will restore confidence,” explains the outlet.

It adds that, while appropriate social distancing in the cabin and in certain parts of the airport is currently possible due to very low passenger numbers, it’s not always easy to maintain a safe distance in some airport areas. Likewise, when passenger figures do eventually start to increase, social distancing will likely be compromised and could lead to unease among travelers.

Differing Approaches To Passenger Health

British airports are taking differing views in their approach to passenger health and facial protection. Speaking to the Guardian last week, John Holland Kaye, the CEO of London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), supported the use of face masks among passengers.

On its website, the airport states, “We urge all passengers to follow the advice of the UK Government, which is available on their website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public. If you choose to wear protective clothing, please be mindful that you may be asked to remove it when going through security so that we can safely and efficiently carry out security checks as required by the government for every passenger before their flight. There are hand sanitizer locations situated before and after security which we would encourage you to use during this time.”

In the north of England, the outlet reports that Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the owner of London Stansted (STN), Manchester (MAN) and East Midlands (EMA) airports, is attempting to mitigate the spread of the virus by an array of means, including the wearing of face masks by passengers.

Speaking to the outlet about its plans to protect the health of its passengers, a spokesperson for MAG, said, “They are designed to help the small number of passengers currently making essential journeys through our airports feel safer and more confident about flying at this time. We will be providing confirmation of exact guidance for passengers, to allow them to fully prepare for their journey, before the measures are put in place.”

As the outlet reports, a number of airlines are asking their passengers to wear masks. For example, Air Canada requires that all passengers wear face coverings in the cabin, as do Spirit and Delta. According to the BBC, American and United Airlines are soon to follow suit.

But Do Masks Really Work? The Official Line

But the advice offered by major health bodies doesn’t exactly concur with the actions taken by some airports and airlines with respect of the use of face masks.

For example, Public Health England states that, “Face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals, but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “The wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risk,” further adding that donning a mask can give a “false sense of security, leading to potentially less adherence to other preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.”


[Image Source: Pixnio]

jjmoore May 28, 2020

@francis27 You have fallen awfully silent, haven't you? Only those people who are truly ignorant and/or those that put all their trust into MSM and the fakes conveying information through our so-called health agencies (which have their interests in big pharma profits, and keeping the economy in a disastrous state for political gains) are the ones that are touting and wearing wearing masks. For that reason alone, as well as what I know about the risks of healthy people wearing masks, I will NOT be wearing a mask under any circumstance, unless I am actually sick with something. Pretty simple science, folks. Open your eyes.

LostInAmerica May 18, 2020

I think that mask requirements are in the same vein as TSA security. It is more about the perception of safety than any actual benefit. And as others have stated, wearing a mask seems to cause me to touch my face even more to constantly adjust it (even without a beard). Mask required for a long flight = I am not taking that flight.

FliesWay2Much May 13, 2020

Masks, for the reasons people upstream have mentioned, are the medical equivalent of Security Theater. Just like taking your shoes off or carefully packing your Freedom Baggie, masks are a great way for governments to get the masses to play along and feel like they are contributing. It's also a way to create a class warfare of sorts by turning people who comply against those who don't. The medical facts are that masks must be of sufficient quality and density to prevent microbes the size of the COVID virus from either entering or leaving one's nose and mouth. They are nothing but a placebo and a "feel good" participatory imposition. But, the Sheeple are already standing in line to buy the latest designer masks.

sfoeuroflyer May 8, 2020

I guess that reading every word eludes some in this thread. I did not say that the risk of death from the virus was less than the regular flu for EVERYBODY. I did make the point that there is a sharp divide between those who have serious pre-existing conditions and those who do not. For those who have serious pre-existing conditions there is an elevated danger. The data is stunning. In Switzerland, today the government reported that 97% of those who died had serious pre-existing conditions. In Italy the number is 99%. For the rest of us, the death rate is actually less than the flu. Logic therefore says that those with pre-existing conditions should self isolate (aided by government if needed) and certainly should not fly. Let the rest of us go about our lives. So to francis27, read more carefully before insluting people and check the data....it's there and well reported.

pmb600 May 8, 2020

@francis27 Your attitude is exactly what I can't stand. You assume anyone who doesn't share your opinion is uneducated, or as you say "poor hygiene habits" instead of respectfully disagreeing. I am a very clean and organized person and for years have taken reasonable precautions prior to any of this Covid nonsense, but I refuse to wear a mask. I always wash my hands frequently (didn't need a new virus to make me do that) I don't wear shoes in my home, I have always wiped off my airplane tray table, screen, armrest and seatbelts with a Chrlorox wipe. Your opinion is uneducated and the current mask guidance, as many have pointed out, is merely to make people "feel good." There is little evidence that a non N95 respirator does anything to prevent you from giving or getting Covid. Masks are also not meant to be used for hours on end, when they become moist they are ineffective. There is a good article in the economist that discusses this that you should review. Oh and by the way, most of those cheap disposable masks are made with very acidic material and probably tons of chemicals that are terrible for your skin and body.