By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Stephen Lynch have re-filed a bill to create an air travel task force that would make universal safety standards for people flying on airplanes during and after the pandemic.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal joined them in proposing the legislation that would have the Departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security establish the task force. A similar bill passed the Senate last year, but never went any further.

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Right now, it’s up to individual airlines to come with their own safety plans. President Biden signed an executive order Thursday requiring everyone to wear masks on planes, trains and other public transportation.

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“While commercial airlines have taken certain preventative steps in response to the spread of COVID-19, mask requirements, seating caps, and other measures are not uniform or federally mandated across the airline industry,” Lynch said in a joint statement Friday. “As we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Aviation Administration must not continue to leave the responsibility of air travel safety up to individual commercial carriers on an ad hoc basis.”

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“We must think big and provide consistent solutions to all of the interconnected health risks a global pandemic poses, including standards for passenger health screenings, social distancing while traveling, sanitation of aircraft, and more,” Markey said.

CBSBoston.com Staff