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Sen. Rick Scott re-introduces 'Fly Safe and Healthy Act' against spread of COVID-19

temperature screening
Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 16:19:55-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTXL) — Senators Rick Scott and Maria Cantwell re-introduced the 'Fly Safe and Healthy Act' on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by launching a pilot program to require temperature checks at TSA screenings for air travelers.

“Florida is a huge tourism state, and thousands of families rely on the success of the industry," Senator Rick Scott said. "To get our economy back on track and fully re-opened, Americans need to trust that they can travel safely. I’ve been calling for temperature checks for passengers of mass travel since the beginning of the pandemic as a common-sense measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and I urge my colleagues to pass this bipartisan bill immediately.”

The Fly Safe and Healthy Act will enable a temperature check pilot program to prevent passengers with a fever from boarding a plane, putting other passengers and airline employees at risk.

It also requires airlines to work with a customer to reschedule or cancel their flight if they’re experiencing a fever and establishes consumer protections to guard against unfair pricing tactics.

“Implementing this technology is low-hanging fruit we should be taking advantage of to provide more health and safety measures for the flying public," said Senator Maria Cantwell. "A number of other countries have already begun taking this common-sense step and it's time the United States joined them.”

The Fly Safe and Healthy Act:

  • Establishes a 120-day pilot program through TSA to conduct temperature checks for domestic and international passengers, individuals accompanying those passengers, crew members, and other individuals who pass through airports and airport security screening locations.
    • The pilot program ensures airlines allow passengers who are prohibited from flying because they have a fever or as a result of a secondary medical screening to reschedule or cancel the flight at no cost.
    • The pilot program includes policies to exempt individuals who may have an elevated body temperature unrelated to COVID-19.
  • Within 90 days after the completion of the pilot program, requires TSA and necessary agencies to create a policy for deploying a temperature check program at airports and airport security screening locations through the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency for domestic and international passengers.
  • Requires airlines to provide the following information to passengers about traveling during a public health emergency:
    • Relevant guidelines relating to safe traveling in air transportation;
    • A message discouraging any individual who has a fever from traveling in air transportation; and
    • A notification that each passenger and any individual accompanying a passenger into the sterile area of the airport will undergo a temperature check if the pilot program established is in effect in that airport.