fitness and airports

Mask Mandate Extension + Stricter COVID-19 Rules for Travelers

Update 12/2/21: Here are the new travel-associated mandates and guidelines issued by the White House as a part of a bigger plan to deal with the Delta and Omicron versions this wintry weather.

From the declaration:

  1. Stronger Public Health Protocols for Safe International Travel: Last month, the Administration implemented more potent worldwide travel protocols, which include requirements for foreign tourists to be completely vaccinated. The very day the WHO identified the new Omicron variation, the Biden Administration took immediately steps to restrict tour from the nations inside the location wherein it become confirmed to be spreading quick.
  • Strengthening global pre-departure testing protocols: Early subsequent week, the USA will tighten pre-departure checking out protocols with the aid of requiring all inbound worldwide tourists to test inside at some point of departure globally, irrespective of nationality or vaccination fame.
  • Extending the requirement to put on a masks on airplanes, rail tour, and public transportation: The Administration will preserve to require protecting at some point of global or other public journey – as well as in transportation hubs including airports or indoor bus terminals – through March 18. The Transportation Security Administration will increase its imposing orders to maintain those necessities thru March 18. Fines will continue to be doubled from their initial stages for noncompliance with the protecting necessities – with a minimal high-quality of $500 and fines of up to $three,000 for repeat offenders.

Wednesday nighttime, Reuters and other information outlets were reporting that on Thursday, President Joe Biden will increase through mid-March the masks mandate for travelers at airports, and on airplanes, on trains and in educate stations, and on buses. The modern mandate was set to expire on January 18.  The mandate also covers ships, ferries, and seaports, subways and subway stations, taxis, and journey-hailing services.

Travelers who do not comply are problem to fines.

But wait, there’s more.

In reaction to concerns about the Omicron version of the coronavirus, the White House is also expected to announce stricter trying out regulations for air travelers entering or returning to the United States, along with lowering the pre-flight Covid trying out window to simply one day previous to tour.

Right now, vaccinated international air vacationers can enter the U.S. with a bad COVID take a look at result taken within 3 days before the flight’s departure.

We’ll know more approximately this on Thursday, however it is likely to wreak quite the havoc with global journey plans as we head into the December holidays and the new yr.

What are the excellent new airport amenities of 2020?

Despite challenges, airports landed welcome new facilities this year

[This is a slightly different version of the story we prepared for USA TODAY]

Despite the challenges set out by way of COVID-19 this year, airports pressed ahead and delivered new features, new artwork, new technology, and new facilities for passengers.

For example, in January 2020, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), went smoke-free, one of the ultimate foremost U.S. airports to achieve this. And in February, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) added a coat-test provider. It is still the simplest U.S. airport offering this provider.

Courtesy MKE

Here are some other new services airports brought in 2020. Keep in thoughts that some may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns.

New art, sights, and a new terminal

Courtesy LaGuardia Gateway Parnters

As a part of the much acclaimed rebuild of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, in November a 25-foot-tall water function turned on in Terminal B, In addition to displaying various styles and shapes, the water falling from the towers’ nozzles serves as a backdrop for projected laser suggests.

During November, Denver International Airport (DEN) celebrated the appearance of the 27-foot-tall ‘Luminous Wind’ sculpture at the mild rail station prevent proper earlier than the airport.

Courtesy Denver International Airport

And in September and October, Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) debuted its new Terminal B. This is the first phase of the primary new hub airport constructed within the U.S. in the 21st century.

Courtesy Salt Lake City International Airport

New Observation Decks and a file-breaking sky bridge

In February San Francisco International Airport (SFO) opened the SkyTerrace. The pre-protection deck in Terminal 2 is open to the public and gives 180-diploma perspectives of the busiest phase of SFO, where all four runways intersect.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) claimed a spot in the record books in February with the set up of a 780-foot long pedestrian bridge this is now the arena’s longest structure over an active taxiway.

Courtesy Port of Seattle

And as part of its Gate Expansion Program, in November, Denver International Airport (DEN) unveiled an outdoor deck on the west side of Concourse B. In addition to out of doors seating, the deck has a pet remedy location and hearth pits.

Courtesy Denver International Airport


While most airports needed to positioned their in-terminal music and performance applications on keep, airports persevered to provide amusement.

Almost dozen airports banded collectively in August and once more in May for JetStream tune gala's. The unfastened, multi-hour livestream occasions featured musicians from the leisure line-up provided by way of the taking part airports.

Over the summer time, California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT), which has served as film set for some popular films, installation movie screens and drive-in movie nights. In October, Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) and Nebraska’s Lincoln Airport (LNK) had power-in film nights for Halloween-season movies.

Courtesy ONT Airport

And Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) debuted an pleasing Coca-Cola themed living room in Terminal D whole with charging stations, seating, activities, and memorabilia-stuffed exhibits.

Courtesy DFW Airport

Fresh Services for fitness and safety

Of course, in reaction to the COVID-19 health pandemic, airports were focusing time, electricity, creativity and, of path, money on ensuring the terminals are easy and safe for travelers.

Since March, airports for the duration of the u . s . have sprouted hand-sanitizing stations, PPE merchandising machines, and temperature-test programs. They have evolved contactless systems for bag check, take a look at-in, protection screening, and boarding. And both Grab and At Your Gate have accelerated their services for in-airport meals ordering and transport.

Cleaning and sanitizing robots have joined the permanent group of workers at airports in Pittsburgh, San Antonio and plenty of different towns.

Courtesy PIT Airport

In May, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) added a virtual data booth. Los Angeles International Airport, Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), and Denver International Airport (DEN) now provide comparable offerings. And as the vacation season kicks off, COVID-19 testing stations, many in partnership with airways, are fast proliferating at airports throughout the country.

Courtesy SDF Airport

Did we leave out a new airport amenity you noticed in 2020? Please let us recognize inside the remarks phase beneath.

Airports upping their safety act with helmets and more

What are airports so far?

If you’re heading to an airport now or someday in the future, the new regular goes to be, properly, unique.

Masks for all of us, please.

As more and more airways now require each employee and passenger to cowl their mouth and nose with a mask or fabric, airports from Seattle to Singapore are adding that requirement to every body entering the terminals.

Temperature exams may also come to be the brand new ordinary.

Airports in Asia were scanning vacationers’ temperatures for quite some time.

Now Fiumicino Airport in Rome is the use of ‘smart helmets’ to check the temperature of passengers.

The tool is worn via airport employees and permits them to test and degree the frame temperature of passengers at a distance.

Frontier Airlines, which stepped again from charging an additional fee to keep middle seats free, will start pre-boarding temperature screenings for passengers on June 1.

Customers may be screened through touchless thermometers previous to boarding.

If the temperature studying is 100.four tiers or higher, they will take delivery of time to rest and, if the flight departure time permits, get every other temperature take a look at.

“If the second one check is one hundred.four levels or better, a Frontier gate agent will provide an explanation for to the consumer that they'll not be flying that day for the health and protection of others,” the airline stated in its announcement. Any passenger with a one hundred.four levels or higher fever could be provided the option to rebook journey on a later date or make other preparations.

And don’t be amazed if inside the not-too-distant destiny TSA officers scan you for a fever at the identical time they’re searching through your stuff.

What do you think of these actions? Will it make you feel safer whilst you fly?

Smoking nonetheless allowed at maximum of world’s busiest airports

According to a newly launched document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at most of the international’s busiest airports travelers remain explosed to 2nd-hand cigarette smoke, which the Surgeon General has declared a fitness risk at any stage of publicity.

The document, posted this week, determined that as of August 2017 more than 1/2 (27) of the arena’s 50 busiest airport nevertheless permit smoking in positive regions, at the same time as 23 (46 percent) had been smoke-unfastened.

Among the ten busiest airports in the world, the document located that half nonetheless allow smoking in positive indoor areas: Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International, Dubai International, Hong Kong International, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, and Tokyo International.

Beijing Capital International, Chicago O’Hare, London Heathrow, Los Angeles International and Shanghai Pudong International, additionally a number of the pinnacle 10 busiest airports, are smoke-unfastened.

Among North American airports at the list of the 50 busiest, the CDC document observed that 14 of 18 had a smoke-loose coverage, but that Atlanta, Denver, McCarran International in Las Vegas and Mexico City International airports still allow smoking in some regions. (Washington-Dulles, a busy hub, however no longer a few of the 50 global’s busiest airports, additionally has smoking areas.)

Denver International, the record notes, closed three of its 4 smoking indoor smoking rooms within the beyond few years and is scheduled to snuff out the very last one in 2018 whilst its lease expires. And at the same time as it isn't always among the 50 global’s busiest airports, the report mentions that Salt Lake City International, a massive-hub U.S. airport, also these days carried out a smoke-free policy.

But at the same time as Beijing Capital International Airport, the arena’s 2d busiest airport, is smoke-free, “Sadly, Las Vegas, Dulles and Atlanta have now not budged on going smoke-unfastened,” stated Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

Officials at Atlanta International, the arena’s busiest airport, say they may be well aware about the calls to create a smoke-loose environment at the airport, however have no plans to shut their smoking regions.

“Creating a smoke-free coverage could force people who smoke to locate locations all through the airport to light up and expose other guests to secondhand smoke,” said ATL spokesperson Andrew Gobeil, “And people who smoke might flow outdoor the terminal and create an additional burden on safety lines as those passengers re-input screening areas.”

Inconvenience aside, “Millions of folks who tour through and work in airports that allow smoking are unnecessarily uncovered to secondhand smoke,” said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, “Smoke-loose airports can guard people from this preventable fitness threat.”

My tale about smoking at airports first appeared in a barely distinct shape on USATODAY’s Today in the Sky.