AS SUMMER SLIPS into fall and COVID-19 cases drop in several states, it may be tempting for some travelers to want to set aside their facemasks. To encourage vigilant application of safety standards, the U.S. Travel Association is including new graphics in its “Travel Confidently (A shared responsibility)” toolkit to encourages people to keep the masks on.
USTA’s toolkit includes infographics, social media materials, sample web badges and more. The new graphics emphasize the travel industry’s implementation of enhanced health practices, as well as the role each person plays in ensuring each other’s safety.
“As we move into the fall and cooler weather, it is important that Americans remain vigilant and continue to adhere to the healthy travel practices encouraged during the summer travel season—whether you’re taking a trip, heading back to school or going apple picking,” said Laura Holmberg, USTA’s vice president for marketing and industry communications.
The need for added emphasis on safety comes as the daily number of new coronavirus cases across the U.S. drops from the summertime peak of 70,000 cases a day.
“However, these early signs of progress are not an indication that we should loosen our healthy travel habits. In fact, we must remain as diligent as ever in wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distance when possible,” Holmberg said. “There is a wealth of evidence that points to mask-wearing as an effective tool in preventing the spread of the virus, and it is crucial that we all wear one, no matter where we are traveling. In fact, masks are so effective, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield called them, ‘the most powerful weapons we have in the fight against COVID-19.’ Wearing a mask is one of the simplest actions we can take, but it has an enormous impact.”
Starting in July, several large hotel companies, such as Marriott International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, InterContinental Hotel Group, Radisson Hotel Group, Loews Hotels & Co. and Hyatt Hotels Corp., began requiring guests to wear masks in public spaces. The movement is part of the companies participation in the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s “Safe Stay Guest Checklist” is part of its Safe Stay initiative launched in May.