CDC recommends mask-wearing on all transportation systems

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Airport Mask 3
The CDC strongly recommended that all passengers and workers wear masks on transportation systems. Photo Credit: H Ko/Shutterstock.com

Calling transportation systems "essential" for America's economy, the CDC strongly recommended that all passengers and workers wear masks on airplanes, ships, trains, subways and taxis, to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The U.S. Travel Association applauded the move, with CEO Roger Dow saying, "There simply cannot be an economic and jobs recovery unless travel is able to broadly resume, and the universal embrace of mask-wearing and other hygiene measures is the thing that is going to enable that to happen.

The U.S. Travel Association applauded the move, with CEO Roger Dow saying, "There simply cannot be an economic and jobs recovery unless travel is able to broadly resume, and the universal embrace of mask-wearing and other hygiene measures is the thing that is going to enable that to happen.

Related report: Defense Dept. study finds little risk of Covid spread on planes

"The CDC's latest message is helpful and clear and will be important for promoting a crucial understanding heading into the holiday season: Safe travel is absolutely possible as long as everyone in the travel ecosystem employs best health practices," Dow added.

The guidance says that broad and routine utilization of masks on transportation systems "will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel more safely even during this pandemic." It also says that traveling on public transportation increases a person's risk of getting and spreading Covid-19 due to people being in close contact, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces. It also said that masks are especially important since social distancing "may be difficult if not impossible" on buses, trains and flights.  

"Given how interconnected most transportation systems are across the nation and the world, local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected persons travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks," the CDC said.

The guidance comes as Covid-19 cases continues to surge globally and the U.S. leading the way with more than 8 million cases, according to the World Health Organization.

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