1 1 (March 20, 2020)

handle is hein.crs/govcavy0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 









               Researh Sevice






COVID-19 and Passenger Airline Travel



March 20, 2020
The COVID- 19 global pandemic presents particular risks and challenges to commercial passenger airline
travel. Taking a passenger flight involves numerous interpersonal interactions, transiting through often
crowded airport terminals, and sitting in close proximity to others for extended periods, both onboard
aircraft and at airport gates. These activities may increase the probability of exposure to infectious
disease.
Curtailing infectious disease spread through airline travel is challenging, in part because the passenger
airline system in the United States is highly concentrated around 30 large hub airports, with tens of
thousands of passengers passing through each of these airports -very day. In early March 2019, a year
before the COVID- 19 outbreak, about 2.25 million passengers passed through screening checkpoints
across the United States on a daily basis. Passenger activity for early March 2020 appeared to be only
slightly lower, averaging just under 2 million daily passengers. However, as travel restrictions and
warnings in response to COVID-19 have been issued, passenger volumes at Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) checkpoints decreased to less than 1 million daily passengers by mid-March 2020.
This travel reduction has had considerable economic impact, and questions remain as to whether adequate
steps are being taken to reduce the potential spread of COVID- 19 through passenger airline travel.

International Travel
The federal response to address COVID- 19 spread through passenger airline travel has focused on risk-
based health screening of inbound international passengers and restrictions placed on certain international
arrivals. On January 31, 2020, President Trump suspended travel from China. International travel
restrictions have since expanded to include travelers from Iran, the European Schengen area, the United
Kingdom, and Ireland. Travelers returning home to the United States from these areas must enter the
country through one of 13 designated entry airports for enhanced screening and are instructed to stay at
home for 14 days thereafter and monitor their health for COVID-19 symptoms. On March 19, 2020, the
U.S. Department of State issued a global health advisory urging U.S. citizens to avoid all international
travel, noting that many airlines have canceled international flights in response to COVID- 19 creating
disruptions that could prevent travelers from returning to the United States for an undetermined time
frame.



                                                                   Congressional Research Service
                                                                   https://crsreports.congress.gov
                                                                                         IN11265

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