Seven U.S. air carriers said Friday that they will begin collecting information from international passengers intended to help health officials more quickly warn travelers if they have been exposed to the coronavirus on a flight.
The announcement is a turnabout for the industry, which previously pushed back against government efforts to require it to provide passenger information for contact tracing.
Last February, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an interim rule that would have required airlines to collect key information from international passengers, including email addresses and cellphone numbers. When ordered, airlines would have been required to provide the information within 24 hours so officials could warn travelers about exposures.
But airlines balked, saying that they didn’t have systems in place to provide the information in the time frame the government…