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US issues guidelines but no new rules for safe air travel

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Federal officials said Thursday that airlines should consider limiting capacity on planes to promote social distancing, but stopped short of requiring them to do so.

The officials also recommended—but did not move to require—travelers wear face coverings in airports and on planes. All leading U.S. airlines now require passengers to wear masks, but regulators have refused a request by the airlines to make it a federal rule.

The Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services departments made those and other recommendations was criticized by the government’s top expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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