Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter today to the Trump administration requesting the immediate implementation of a national aviation screening system for domestic and international passengers to ensure the safety of travelers and aviation workers.
The letter reads, in part:
"The science is clear that airplanes, and mass transit in general, present greater risk of transmission because of the confined spaces where safe distancing may not be possible. Our nation’s current approach improperly places the burden for protecting the public on state and local governments, leaves millions of passengers at risk, and fails to instill public confidence. It achieves neither our economic nor our public health goals.
"A comprehensive national aviation screening system should include, at a minimum, the following components:
- Collecting adequate contact and travel information to aid in contact tracing efforts by state and local public health.
- Clearly communicating information about protecting themselves and others from exposure to passengers, workers, and the public.
- Screening both passengers and workers for symptoms, including temperature checks, prior to travel.
- Requiring all passengers and workers to wear face masks or cloth face coverings.
- Frequently cleaning high touch surfaces.
- Making hand sanitizer readily available.
- Offering testing at airports for all international arrivals and any other individuals who have mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
"It is clear that if we hope to restart the U.S. economy in a manner that is safe and responsible, without significant interstate spread of COVID-19, we will need a comprehensive national aviation screening system. I respectfully request that you prioritize implementation of guidance, regulations, and resources to implement this system."