United to launch systemwide contract-tracing program

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United customers who choose to participate will provide contact information that will be shared with CDC.
United customers who choose to participate will provide contact information that will be shared with CDC.

United, in partnership with the CDC, is the first U.S. carrier to announce a contact-tracing initiative for all flights.

Under the voluntary program, United customers will provide contact information -- including an email address, phone numbers and the address where they will be once they reach their destination -- that will be shared with CDC.

• Related: Expecting slow vaccine rollout, airlines keep pushing for tests

Having immediate access to such data will assist the CDC's contract-tracing efforts and improve timeliness, CDC director Robert Redfield said in a statement.

United flyers can enroll in the initiative at all points of check-in, including United.com, the United app, airport kiosks and at airport check-in counters.

On Tuesday, Delta became the first U.S. airline to implement a voluntary contact-tracing program, in partnership with CDC, for international arrivals. United's program for international arrivals will also roll out this week. United said it will phase in the initiative for international departures and for domestic flights in the coming weeks.

"Initiatives like testing and contact tracing will play a significant role in slowing the spread of Covid-19 until a vaccine is widely available," United chief customer officer Toby Enqvist said in a prepared statement.

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