Checking the temperature may become a new routine when going through TSA security at US airports. Airlines for America, which represents the largest U.S. airlines including American Airlines (AAL.O), United Airlines (UAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and Southwest Airlines (LUV.N), said the checks “will add an extra layer of protection for passengers as well as airline and airport employees. Temperature checks also will provide additional public confidence that is critical to relaunching air travel and our nation’s economy.”
One possible route would be for a pilot project or to initially begin temperature checks at the largest U.S. airports. Questions remain about what the government would do if someone had a high temperature and was turned away from a flight. U.S. officials said the temperature checks would not eliminate the risk of coronavirus cases but could act as a deterrent to prevent people who were not feeling well from traveling.
TSA has not made a decision at this time. The move, the first among major U.S. airlines, followed the industry mandating facial coverings for all passengers and heightened cleaning procedures to address coronavirus concerns.
The endorsement comes amid signs of a modest travel rebound from historic lows. On Friday, TSA screened 215,444 people at airport checkpoints, the first time the number topped 200,000 since March 26.
But that is still a fraction of the 2.6 million screened on an equivalent day just a year ago.