Delta Air Lines has announced they’re partnering in a new program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as another way to offer safer travel to its passengers who are traveling from international locations back to the United States.
Right now, if someone is found to be positive for COVID and the CDC becomes aware that they had been on a plane, they request a passenger manifest to identify everyone who was seated two seats around the person. Once they finally receive everyone’s info, that’s transmitted to the peoples’ respective local health departments for follow-up (each health department is responsible for making the respective citizens aware).
Under the new system, which begins on December 15th, Delta will ask their passengers traveling to the U.S. from an international location to provide specific data that will make it easier for follow up, if needed:
- Full name
- Email address
- Address in the U.S.
- Primary phone
- Secondary phone
Giving Delta this contact info (which will be voluntary) removes the step of waiting for the airline to send the CDC the manifest. Therefore it’ll allow the CDC to access the data faster, which, in turn, will allow them to contact the peoples’ respective health departments sooner. So it removes a step.
“Contact tracing is a fundamental component of the nation’s public health response strategy for controlling the spread of communicable diseases of public health concern,” said Caitlin Shockey, a CDC spokeswoman. “The collection of contact information from air travelers by airlines, like Delta, will greatly improve the timeliness and completeness of information for COVID-19 public health follow-up and contact tracing, as needed.”
This new pilot program will only be for incoming international flights. However, anyone can participate, provided they are:
- Flying on any Delta-operated flight
- A foreign national and/or a U.S. passport holder traveling to the United States as your final destination
You may have seen on the news or via other travel bloggers that Delta is also partnering with Aeroporti de Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to launch a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic COVID-19 testing program. That pilot program will allow for quarantine-free entry into Italy, which means participants will be able to travel to Italy without quarantine upon arrival. As part of that program, offering contact info for potential contact tracing will be mandatory. But again, for their regular international flights into the U.S., giving your contact information is, at least at this time, voluntary.
Click here for more info about Delta’s new partnership with the CDC.
Feature Photo: Delta
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary