How are workers in the travel, tourism industry protecting themselves from potential virus?

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Travelers from around the globe come to the world-famous beaches of Waikiki and so does the potential for infectious diseases.

That’s why Unite Here Local 5, the union that represents hotel and airport workers, encourages employers to allow workers to wear masks if they feel the need to protect themselves. 

Kaleo Aarona works at Hilton Hawaiian Village and says many of her co-workers wear masks and use a lot of hand sanitizer. 

“This isn’t the first time there’s been something like this and every time the hotel has been supportive and they let us use whatever we need to make us feel comfortable,” said Aarona. “I’m in an office so I’m not in contact with the general public but when we do go outside like going to lunch, we put the mask on,” said Aarona. 

Hawaiian Airlines does not operate flights to and from China but says it is following CDC recommendations for the cabin crew for this particular virus. 

Guidelines like washing your hands frequently and knowing how to properly identify and manage sick travelers.

If possible, the crew should separate a sick person from others and designate one crew member to serve that passenger. 

Offer a face mask if one is available and treat all body fluids as if they are infectious. Finally, clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces and report it to the CDC before arrival. 

The Association of Flight Attendants also encourages airlines to follow a checklist of their own that includes allowing workers to wear gloves at any time. 

Hawaiian Airlines is offering certain customers who have tickets for flights operated by partner airlines to and from China to reschedule their trip without change fees or cancel their flights for a refund. The waiver will be available through February 16th. 

TSA workers are also in direct contact with travelers and one worker tells us they are not allowed to use masks.

We reached out to TSA to get more information and a spokeswoman says inquiries related to the coronavirus need to be addressed to the Department of Homeland Security. We are waiting for their response. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories