TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday declared air journey protected and mentioned that COVID-19-related journey restrictions from Europe and Brazil needs to be lifted.Throughout a dialogue with airline and rental automobile executives on the Fort Lauderdale Worldwide Airport, DeSantis mentioned that proof exhibits planes will not be vectors for the airborne illness.“You have just not seen airlines lead to outbreaks,” DeSantis mentioned. “And people should understand that.”DeSantis mentioned he was attempting to ease folks’s fears about flying, which have prompted hundreds of thousands to cease flying into Florida, crushing its tourism-dependent financial system. From March by means of June, the variety of folks flying into the state fell by almost two-thirds in comparison with the 12 months earlier than, from greater than 24 million passengers to eight.eight million, DeSantis mentioned.Though he’s beforehand blamed flights for bringing COVID-19 into the state, he mentioned Friday that the “track record” exhibits that fears of flying itself are unfounded. He didn’t cite any research or statistics to assist his declare, and his workplace didn’t produce any when requested by the Instances/Herald.The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention says that air journey does enhance an individual’s threat of getting COVID-19 due to time in safety traces and airport terminals.However since March, many research have concluded that flying itself is a comparatively low-risk exercise, so long as stringent security measures equivalent to spacing and masking are adopted whereas on the aircraft.These research are largely contained to learning transmission contained in the flight vessel itself, the place air is usually refreshed each two to 4 minutes, a a lot greater fee than hospitals or workplace buildings.Michael Mina, an infectious illness skilled on the Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being, mentioned airports themselves are the priority.“My biggest concern this whole time has been more in the airports,” he mentioned throughout a convention name with reporters on Friday. “It is possible to get pretty high air flow and air exchange in planes.”Pedestrian visitors in airports, however, can funnel folks by means of hallways, jetways, and metallic detectors, Mina mentioned, and the coronavirus is thought to be able to lingering within the air.“I think it’s a dangerous place to be, and I personally make the decision not to travel,” Mina mentioned.He added that the danger was similar to different indoor and semi-crowded areas equivalent to eating inside a restaurant, locations the place Florida nonetheless imposes occupancy restrictions. Bars will not be allowed to open.Throughout Friday’s occasion, DeSantis pointed to airways’ air circulation, cleansing habits and spacing on board as the reason why air journey was protected.“Obviously they do space people out,” he mentioned.Whereas Delta, JetBlue and Southwest Airways hold center seats vacant, American Airways and Miramar-based Spirit Airways don’t. Spirit’s chief working officer, John Bendoraitis, was sitting throughout the desk from DeSantis Friday however didn’t right him.Bendoraitis mentioned Spirit has seen “zero outbreaks” of the virus aboard its planes, including that they’re a “super-safe environment.” An airport govt with JetBlue additionally mentioned the airline has seen “no confirmed outbreaks.”DeSantis claimed in March that New York’s stay-at-home order prompted sick New Yorkers to fly to Florida. Claiming that “every single flight has somebody on it who is positive for COVID-19,” he required New Yorkers to quarantine for 14 days, a restriction he lifted earlier this month.DeSantis mentioned he additionally believes federal bans on journey from Europe and Brazil needs to be lifted now.“I think that’s served its purpose,” he mentioned of the European ban. “I don’t know that those restrictions need to be in place anymore. And the same thing with Brazil.”Herald reporter Taylor Dolven contributed to this report.