Wearing a Mask on Planes Is Probably Here to Stay

Dr. Fauci doesn't think we will ever be able to go back to maskless, pre-pandemic travel again.

COVID safety in close spaces has been a recurring topic as holiday travel picks up for Christmas and the New Year, and Dr. Anthony Fauci does not believe air travel will go back to naked-faced, pre-COVID times. He believes wearing masks will just be a way of life for travelers.

Last week the CEO of Southwest Airlines, Gary Kelly, told a US Senate panel that "masks don't add much if anything" in fighting the spread of COVID-19 on airplanes. Fauci directly responded to Kelly's comments on ABC's This Week, saying that he doesn't believe the pandemic will reach a state in which masks will be unnecessary, specifically in tighter spaces. When asked if he thought there might be a point where masks are unnecessary on airplanes, the Chief Medical Advisor said point-blank, "I don't think so."

"I think when you're dealing with a closed space, even though the filtration is good that you want to go that extra step," Fauci said. "When you have people, you know you get a flight from Washington to San Francisco, it's well over a five hour flight." Fauci also added that wearing a mask is simply the prudent thing to do even with a good filtration system in place.

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Janae Price is a News Staff Writer at Thrillist. She's a native New Yorker and loves all things cheese, K-pop, and culture. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @janae_larie.