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(CNN) — Maskman date America We are speeding up for what could be their last frontier: transportation.

In addition to airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, airlines for America, a freight carrier and industry group, all have public transport mask obligations and pre-travel test requirements for international arrivals in the United States. I’m asking for the end of both.

Mask dispute Come to hit On some flights, flight attendants are at an unprecedented level Invasion I’m trying to enforce federal regulations.
Largest in Japan Flight attendant union, The Flight Attendants Association-CWA hasn’t gone down on either side of dismissing Mask’s mission-says there are members on both sides of the problem.Southwest Airlines Flight attendant union I’m asking for the end of a mandate.

Many people in the travel industry want to move more travelers as easily as possible after a two-year pandemic.

But what do doctors and disease transmission experts think of Covid’s preventative rollback? For one thing, it’s not all or zero.

Travelers can continue to protect themselves, and if the number of cases increases significantly, the rules can be phased out or reinstated.Cases in the United States have recently leveled off after nearly two months of decline, health officials said BA.2 Omicron Variant..

The US mask requirements for airplanes are set to expire in April. Many airlines want it to be lifted sooner.

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

A doctor suggests lifting the rules for vaccinated travelers

Dr. Riana Wen, CNN Medical analysts say it makes sense for vaccinated travelers to remove both the mask obligations for international arrivals and the pre-travel testing requirements.

Wen, an emergency professor and visiting professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, said that allowing fully vaccinated people to circumvent the requirements would give them another incentive to get vaccinated. Stated.

The airline’s letter to the White House did not specifically call for vaccinated travelers, but “fully vaccinated.”

Currently, all travelers to the United States, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must get negative results on tests performed within one day of departure. According to Wen, removing this requirement could be the quickest and “right step” for a fully vaccinated traveler.

“Many people have postponed their overseas travel plans because they tested positive on the PCR test and didn’t want to get stuck at their destination for weeks.”

Wen also suggested that airlines could specify a section of the plane on which people who desire additional protection and agree to wear N95 or equivalent high quality masks can sit together.

There is no easy answer at this point in the pandemic, Wen said.

“And the question is how to consider the flight. Is the flight considered essential? If so, do you want to offer vulnerable people the option of increasing safety, or at a restaurant? It’s considered like eating out. Do you take an additional risk to yourself to eat? “

Wen believes that air travel should be considered essential, as many people are inevitably traveling.

“That’s why it’s right to make that option even safer.”

Make the mask optional

From Dr. William Schaffner’s point of view, it makes sense to remove both masking and pre-travel testing measures right away.

“If you have a reason not to do so, ask,” said Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

The airline’s claim to lift the Maskman date reflects that.

“It doesn’t make sense for people to have to wear masks on planes, but these venues aren’t equipped with the protective air filtration system that planes do, but gather in crowded restaurants, schools, and sporting events without masks. Is allowed. ”Read the letter to the president.

Travelers wearing protective face masks will be reflected in the windows of Charlotte Douglas International Airport on August 5, 2021.

Travelers wearing protective face masks will be reflected in the windows of Charlotte Douglas International Airport on August 5, 2021.

Angus Modant / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Testing arrivals from abroad doesn’t make much sense for Schaffner either.

“I’ve been confused about it for a long time because there are so many Covids here! That’s not what we’re trying to keep Covids out,” Schaffner said with a laugh. “It’s already here”

“I always thought this was like telling someone not to pour a bucket of water into the pool.”

But he emphasized that people may choose to wear masks and their choice should be respected.

He and his wife are caring for an extended family receiving chemotherapy, and they continue to wear masks and are very careful to protect that person.

“I think the bigger world understands it to some extent and not only tolerates it, but also supports it,” Schaffner said.

Aerosol experts

Lindsay Marr, an expert in the transmission of aerosol-mediated infections, said in an email that it makes sense to remove the mask obligation, with a warning that it makes sense “as long as there are few cases”. rice field.

“It’s unlikely that an infected person will fly,” said Ma, a professor at Virginia Tech. “We know that planes have good ventilation and filtration that can help reduce the risk of infection on planes.” Told. ..

Those who need more protection can choose to wear high quality masks on their planes. Ma said he intends to do this during future surges and during the cold and flu season. And getting the mandate back should be on the table.

“The virus is so unpredictable that we need to be prepared to regain our mask obligations if the case reoccurs or new concerns arise.”

Continue to pay attention and attention

Dr. Richard Darwood based in London Travel Health SpecialistHas a more tentative view of lifting tests and mask requirements.

The UK, which has seen a recent surge in cases due to the BA.2 subvariant, has already withdrawn the requirements for vaccination, testing and quarantine for travelers, and several airlines have recently announced the abolition of at least mask rules. .. It has its own mask obligation.

If it was up to him, he probably wouldn’t lift Covid’s precautions for travel yet.

“If you’re traveling long distances, it’s very safe to fly, knowing that people have taken pre-departure tests,” Dawood said.

He said that the current trip needs to be approached with caution and attention. Even if you are seriously ill and have a low risk of landing in the hospital while you are away, your illness can significantly interrupt your trip.

“I think I will continue to use the mask to protect myself, especially when traveling long distances.”

Image above: Travelers pass through Miami International Airport on February 1, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raidle / Getty Images)