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Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty Images

United Airlines on Wednesday became the first major U.S. airline to ask all passengers to complete a health self-assessment during the check-in process amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: To reassure the public it's safe to fly, battered airlines are stepping up their cleaning and disinfection procedures. Most carriers are requiring employees and passengers to wear masks and now United is going a step further by asking travelers to confirm they are healthy.

How it works: Whether checking in online, at a kiosk or in person at the airport, passengers would be required to accept United's "Ready-to-Fly" checklist that includes confirmation that you:

  • will wear a face mask.
  • haven't been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 21 days.
  • haven't had symptoms or been in close contact with someone who tested positive in the past 14 days.
  • haven't been denied boarding by another airline for medical reasons.

The bottom line: United says customers that are unable to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flights.

  • The company didn't respond to a request for more details on what happens if passengers refuse to answer, or refuse to wear a mask onboard the plane.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.