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UA Face Mask Policy -- Masks no longer required on domestic, any intl flights still??

Old Mar 2, 2021, 4:16 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
For general travel info and inflight masking, see https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...tions-map.html , not a list but specific route masking information. Of course understanding things are dynamic and hard for any site to stay up-to-date.

18 April 2022
"NEW FROM UNITED AIRLINES: “Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at U.S. airports.”"

This from Pete Muntean of CNN
International flights where masks may still be required (from 4/24 post):

Argentina
Australia
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Brazil
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Ecuador
Federated States of Micronesia
France
French Polynesia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Honduras
Hong Kong
India
Israel
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Marshall Islands
Mexico
Netherlands
Nigeria
Palau
Panama
Peru
Philippines
Portugal
Scotland
Singapore
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
St. Kitts
Taiwan
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos
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UA Face Mask Policy -- Masks no longer required on domestic, any intl flights still??

Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:07 pm
  #1  
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UA Face Mask Policy -- Masks no longer required on domestic, any intl flights still??

I just boarded a UA flight and as soon as I boarded the FA asked if I had a different type of mask. I was wearing the neck gaitor style one. I replied “no” and she said I cannot wear that style as they are now not allowed on UA.

I was on a flight last week and this wasn’t the case, nor have I seen any news of it. United’s own website still says says face covering (except vented, and only face shields which has been standard for a while now).

Did the FA make this up? Or, did I miss the news?
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:16 pm
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American Airlines recently banned neck gaiters - so it wouldn't surprise me if UA has done the same, although I don't see any news on it.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:26 pm
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UA policy
Will I have to wear a mask when I travel?

Yes. Federal law requires all travelers to wear a face mask with no vents or openings that fully covers their nose and mouth. Masks must be worn in the airport and during the entire flight, and between bites and sips if travelers are eating or drinking. This includes customer service counters and kiosks, airport lounges, gates and baggage claim areas. A face shield alone does not count as a face covering, and bandanas are also not permitted. Travelers who aren't wearing their masks in the airport or on board may be refused transport, be subject to fines, and could also lose their travel privileges on future United flights. Children younger than 2 years old are exempt
Bandanas and loose fitting coverings are not considered as as effective as true masks (properly worn)

UA is required to enforce CDC requirements which state
The following do not fulfill the requirements of the Order.
  • Masks worn in a way that does not cover both the mouth and nose
  • Face shields or goggles (face shields or goggles may be worn to supplement a mask that meets above required attributes)
  • Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, or bandannas
  • Shirt or sweater collars (e.g., turtleneck collars) pulled up over the mouth and nose.
  • Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
  • Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic or leather)
  • Masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures
  • Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
Elsewhere CDC suggests only double layer gaiters are effective.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 4, 2021 at 2:27 am
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:27 pm
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Federal law bans gaiters. took effect on 2/1 at 11:00pm EST
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by trk1
Federal law bans gaiters. took effect on 2/1 at 11:00pm EST
Ahh, I was not aware that an executive order is the same as a law. Regardless, that explains it.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:44 pm
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Yes, an E.O. is regulatory law, and is published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer
Yes, an E.O. is regulatory law, and is published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
More precisely the EO directed the CDC to publish the regulation -- which it has in the Federal Register and CDC requirements

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 3, 2021 at 5:52 pm
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer
Yes, an E.O. is regulatory law, and is published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
Correct, and it has the same potential consequences as a law, however it is not a law but an executive order and should be called as such since the way each created is vastly different (why have two different terms for the same thing then?). But that’s OMNI stuff. Anyways, that explains the neck gaitor ban and I appreciate the information.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 7:22 pm
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United Airlines is subject to federal law, which includes both statutory and regulatory law, as taught in every law school in the USA.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by UVU Wolverine
Correct, and it has the same potential consequences as a law, however it is not a law but an executive order and should be called as such since the way each created is vastly different (why have two different terms for the same thing then?). But that’s OMNI stuff. Anyways, that explains the neck gaitor ban and I appreciate the information.
Nope.

CDC has the authority under law enacted by Congress and signed by the President to order safety measures such as this mask requirement. It did so. The fact that it did so because it was ordered to do so by the President has nothing to do with the underlying authority.

All of this is clearly stated in the CDC's Order, including citations to the specific laws authorizing it to act.

Not necessary to over-complicate this. Violation is a crime and a civil violation.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
Nope.

CDC has the authority under law enacted by Congress and signed by the President to order safety measures such as this mask requirement. It did so. The fact that it did so because it was ordered to do so by the President has nothing to do with the underlying authority.

All of this is clearly stated in the CDC's Order, including citations to the specific laws authorizing it to act.

Not necessary to over-complicate this. Violation is a crime and a civil violation.
*In Jail*

Notorious Serial Killer - "What are you in for?"
Guy - "Mask violation against CDC order"
Notorious Serial Killer - *Runs away screaming*
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 9:03 pm
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With the new variants it seems good to strengthen the mask requirements, so this seems to be a good thing. But no notification by United about the change seems bad; how many people are going to realize that the policy changed before they leave for the airport?
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Doppy
With the new variants it seems good to strengthen the mask requirements, so this seems to be a good thing. But no notification by United about the change seems bad; how many people are going to realize that the policy changed before they leave for the airport?
The new requirements were directed by Presidential EO on 27 Jan were published by the CDC on 29 Jan for implementation on 1 Feb and applies to all public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) in the USA.

This is much more far reaching than UA and was announced very publicly (lots of domestic news media coverage), but on a very short timeline.
Honestly it is not that different from the prior airline policies but is now a federal regulation (and some marginal options removed). This should lead to a much more consistent set of requirements for travelers.
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 9:45 pm
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I know vented masks are not allowed by themselves, but can one be used in conjunction with another mask? These days, I double-mask whenever I'm indoors away from home with one surgical mask and one filtered (and vented) cloth mask.

(I'm sure things will change before my next flight in August, but I am interested to know United policy on this.)
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Old Feb 3, 2021, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Doppy
With the new variants it seems good to strengthen the mask requirements, so this seems to be a good thing. But no notification by United about the change seems bad; how many people are going to realize that the policy changed before they leave for the airport?
the notification was done by the CDC. Pay attention as lots more to come.
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