Gupta's tips for staying safe before – and during – your flight

Washington (CNN Business)Air travel is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. But it began bouncing back in May.

The number of people passing through airport security checkpoints nearly doubled over the course of the month. The Transportation Security Administration says it screened nearly 949,000 passengers over the past weekend. It scanned 476,000 people over the first weekend in May.
American Airlines (AAL) said more people traveled this past weekend than over Memorial Day, the start of the summer travel season.

    Although the increases are significant, the pandemic has dealt an unprecedented blow to the industry. During the busiest day in May, only 14% of travelers flew compared to the equivalent day in 2019.
    That’s why several major airlines are talking about the need to cut their employee count in October, when federal money for airline payroll costs expires. Some airlines are offering buyouts to avoid layoffs.

    More passengers are also filing onto each flight. Domestic flights carried an average of 47 passengers each this weekend, up from an average of only 17 passengers at the beginning of May, according to Airlines for America.
    Those loads are unprofitable, so more passengers on flights means airlines will burn less cash with each takeoff and landing.
    Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said Friday his company is anticipating “a brutal low-fare environment as there are far more airline seats right now — and there will be for some time — than there are customers.”
    But increasingly full flights also present challenges for travelers to socially distance in small aircraft cabins. Photos of aircraft cabins without an empty seat next to each passenger have drawn attention when posted to social media.
    Frontier Airlines is preparing for an increasing number of passengers on its flights by screening temperatures at the departure gate and denying boarding to anyone who is feverish. Airlines for America is urging the Transportation Security Administration to handle temperature screenings.

      Airlines are also adding to their schedules and flying more planes. Industry-wide, about 200 fewer aircraft are sitting idle than in mid-May, when the airlines parked more than 3,200 planes. The tracking service FlightAware says it saw a nearly 7% increase in US flights since early May.
      Southwest is bullish enough that it is adding nearly a dozen new routes to its schedule this winter.
      Source: Read Full Article

      ViacomCBS Unveils 8-Minute, 46-Second Blackout Video Tribute to George Floyd – Update

      UPDATED 1:30 PM: ViacomCBS has unveiled a powerful 8-minute, 46-second video tribute to George Floyd, which marks the time in which Floyd was pinned to the ground with a police officer’s knee on his neck, resulting in his death. You can watch above.

      In an internal memo, ViacomCBS President of Entertainment and Youth Brands Chris McCarthy announced Sunday that all entertainment and youth brands and platforms will be going dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at 5 PM Monday, which marks the time in which George Floyd was killed. The time will not only serve as a tribute to Floyd but as a tribute to all those who have been victims of racism including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others.

      ViacomCBS also went dark in 2018 for 17 minutes in solidarity with the National School Walkout to honor the 17 students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida who killed.

      In addition to the killings, McCarthy addresses the everyday inequality in the community and how the pandemic disproportionately impacts communities of color. He went on to talk about what ViacomCBS is doing as a call to action to help support the communities including Black Out Tuesday where they will not hold any meeting or conduct any business in order to stand in solidarity with their Black colleagues.

      Read the full memo below.

      Team,

      The last few weeks have brought to the surface long standing racism, videos of unspeakable behavior and the harsh reality of inequality many in our community deal with on a regular and daily basis. In Minneapolis, the horrifying murder of George Floyd, in Georgia the senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery, and in Kentucky, the deplorable shooting of Breonna Taylor, to name just a few recent examples.

      This is on top of a pandemic which has emphasized the tragic inequalities that disproportionately impact communities of color, especially African American and Latinx communities, in addition to the unjust targeting of Asian Americans.

      While I am not a person of color and can never fully understand this experience, I am offended by the systemic racism and want to stand together with our communities of color in the hurt and pain.  We must all do our part – discrimination against one of us is discrimination against all of us.

      Therefore, as President of our Group, I commit that we will do the following:

      This morning, we made the following statements across our brands and platforms.

      Black Lives Matter

      We stand with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and call for the end of systemic racism. These racist and brutal attacks must end. We call for justice.

      Tomorrow, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, we will go dark across our brands and platforms to mark the time in which George Floyd was brutally killed as a tribute to Mr. Floyd and other victims of racism.   We will provide a call to action encouraging our audiences to get involved and help be part of the solution with our partner Color of Change. 

      On Tuesday, we are joining Black Out Tuesday, to focus our attention away from work and towards our community.  We will not hold any meetings nor conduct any business – rather we will stand in solidarity with our African American colleagues and loved ones across the country.

      This is just the beginning and I acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers.  Over the next few weeks, you will be invited to join us for discussions on ways we can use our brands and platforms to inspire and enact change.

      Thank you,

      Chris

      Source: Read Full Article

      AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA, DGA Weigh In On Industry White Paper Protocols For Safe Return To Work

      A 22-page industry white paper developed by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force establishing protocols for a safe return to work “in an environment that minimizes the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19″ was submitted to the governors of Los Angeles and New York on Monday and will be shared with other governors and government officials.

      The guidelines are based on discussions with health experts, guidelines issued by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and input from industry participants familiar with the working conditions of motion picture and television production.

      Its recommendations “set forth the consensus of the Task Force and outline guidance regarding protective measures to be used, including regular screening, diagnostic testing, use of personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting work sites, and appropriate response should an employee contract COVID-19 or be exposed to it.”

      Related Story

      Hollywood Submits COVID-19 Reopening Plan From Studios, Unions & Producers To NY & CA Governors

      The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said the report “is the result of an industrywide collaborative effort made up of production companies, unions and guilds to provide governments with a set of guidelines and principles to safely resume production.”

      SAG-AFTRA said that “This document is an initial set of principles and guidelines that we all agree form a relevant and realistic first step to protecting cast and crew in the reopening of the entertainment and media industry in its two largest markets. As we have reported previously, our draft protocols are being developed with advice and input from our epidemiologist and industrial sanitation experts, with guidance from member leaders, staff, our fellow unions and labor relations and sanitation officials. Our protocols will be completed and released in the coming days.

      “We thank all of the organizations whose member representatives or appointees contributed to the work of the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force and are especially grateful to SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and National Director of Stunt and Safety Cedric Jackson for guiding SAG-AFTRA’s contributions to the Task Force and document.”

      DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander told their members today that “The road back is finally taking shape, and we remain optimistic. We appreciate the need to get back to work and know that the timing is exceedingly important; getting it right is mandatory.”

      This is the statement the DGA leaders issued today:

      “Getting back to doing what we love, being able to support ourselves and our loved ones, and doing it safely, is the top concern on all our minds,” “Your Guild is working around the clock with our sister Guilds and Unions and the Employers to make that a reality as soon as possible. We know that you have questions about what’s going on with our DGA National Board Covid-19 Safety Committee, and that there also may be some confusion stemming from reports about different groups working on their own efforts. It’s true there is a lot going on, and that’s a good thing. Let us explain how it all fits together.

      “First, at the request of the Governors of New York and California, we have been working with an Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force to develop the blueprint for production to resume. This Task Force also consists of representatives from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), as well as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and other producer representatives. For over a month, the Task Force has been working to develop an Industry White Paper with high level guidelines to enable film and television production to resume. That document – which sets forth detailed guidance employers must follow to provide a safe working environment for our members, other industry workers and the general public – is being submitted to Governors Cuomo and Newsom today. It addresses areas including set hygiene, disinfection and maintenance, catering, mandatory employment of Covid-19 Compliance Officer(s), symptom screening, physical distancing, paid leave policies and Covid-19 training, among other critically important topics necessary for the safe resumption of production.

      “While the Industry White Paper provides a solid foundation for the appropriate state agencies to examine the resumption of production, and calls for mandatory testing – it also expressly states that with respect to mandatory testing protocols and other key areas such as personal protective equipment (PPE), department-specific operational protocols and project-specific workflows, there will be further discussions between the Producers and the Unions and Guilds.

      “That is where our Committee and our coordinated efforts with our sister Guilds and Unions come in. Beginning with the work of our Committee, it has been meeting regularly for over six weeks to develop plans addressing these issues. From the outset, the Committee recognized a science-based approach was vital to getting these protocols right. The reality is that we live in a pre-vaccine world, and physical distancing and PPE are not always possible in our unique workplaces, particularly for those performing in front of the camera. And so, the Committee assembled a coalition of world-renowned epidemiologists and infectious disease experts to help in the development of a plan. They include:

      • W. Ian Lipkin, MD, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and Director for the Center of Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Health, Professor of Pathology and Neurology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University;

      • Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH, Physician and epidemiologist, currently serving as the CEO of Pandefense Advisory and Chair of the Advisory Board of the NGO Ending Pandemics;

      • Baruch Fischhoff, PhD, Howard Heinz University Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, where he specializes in decision and risk analysis; and

      • Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society/Earth Institute at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Health – who modeled various testing protocols for the Committee.

      “Based on the guidance provided by our consultants, it quickly became apparent that testing would be the cornerstone of our recommendations. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of this. Without testing, the entire cast and crew would be working in an environment of unknown risk. Confirmed cases, determined days after people have been shedding the virus, could potentially endanger the health of cast and crew members. Moreover, they could lead to the quarantining of others on set, and should those individuals include a principal actor or director, to production delays or even a production shutdown.

      “For this reason, the Committee is recommending that first, every member of the cast and crew be tested for active Covid-19 infection before their first day of work to ensure they are not shedding the virus. Cast and crew members should then be subject to regular testing protocols during the course of their work on the production. The frequency of that testing should be based on a number of factors.

      “In recognition that performers are among the most vulnerable because they cannot wear PPE when cameras are rolling, and frequently will not be able to engage in physical distancing, there must be higher testing frequency for them and those with whom they come into close contact. On the other hand, individuals who work in areas like the production office – where physical distancing and PPE can be utilized – do not need to be tested as frequently. In order to ensure these different sections of the production environment are tightly controlled, the Committee recommends the implementation of a specialized “Zone” system, which sets out the environments and barriers within which those on set can flow based on proximity to cast, level of testing, PPE and the extent to which physical distancing can be observed in the performance of their work.

      “Testing frequency may also be impacted by the prevalence of the virus in a given community, and the rate that the infection is being spread. Another factor to be accounted for is testing availability and the need for rapid results. Fortunately, it is expected that these issues will be resolved in the near future, and can be scaled to the needs of production. Other detailed protocols laid out in the Committee’s recommendations include procedures around strict physical distancing and the use of medically approved, employer-provided PPE. The Committee’s recommendations also expand upon the roles of the on-set Covid-19 monitor, emphasizing the importance of their authority to correct unsafe practices or conditions, and to address issues as they arise.

      “While our Committee has been going through this highly detailed process, our sister unions IATSE, SAG-AFTRA and the Teamsters have been engaged in similar work with their own experts. And we have all been in constant contact with one another, as have our respective consultants. We’ve shared our views, information and developments with them, and they’ve done the same with us and with each other. That close coordination is ongoing, and you should anticipate hearing more from us soon.

      “We thank our Committee for all the challenging work they continue to tackle with tireless dedication. These are incredibly complex issues to solve, the science is still rapidly developing, and it’s all being done amid a world changing at breakneck speeds. Through it all, what drives us is getting this right for our members, other industry workers and the general public, so a quick, safe and sustainable return to work can be realized.

      “The road back is finally taking shape, and we remain optimistic. We appreciate the need to get back to work and know that the timing is exceedingly important; getting it right is mandatory. We also want to acknowledge the pain and anguish we are all feeling right now in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing social injustice in our nation. There’s more we plan to say about that very soon.”

       

      Source: Read Full Article