Great River Honor Flight to continue postponement of flights until 2022
QUINCY (WGEM) - The Great River Honor Flight Board of Directors reported Wednesday that it will hold off scheduling future flights until Spring of 2022.
The board stated the decision was due to the extensive protocols put out by Honor Flight National which must be followed to ensure the safety and health of veterans participating in Honor Flight missions the remainder of 2021.
The board reported among those protocols, four areas were key to their decision:
- Status of vaccinations and how best to handle those who have not received one : (Current guidelines state all participants, veterans and guardians, who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are required to test before and after, along with a mandatory 7 day quarantine post trip)
- The fact that current guidelines by both Honor Flight National, Southwest Airlines, the US Park Service and Arlington National state that all participants in an Honor Flight must wear a mask or face covering while on any bus, plane, as well as at any memorial on the Washington Mall (which would include the WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials), plus on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. This encompasses the greater part of the trip and would mean that participants would be masked for multiple hours continuously.
- The guidelines also requires planning for a 10 day quarantine period in DC should anyone become infected during the trip.
- It also requires mandatory quarantine periods for others who had contact with the infected person upon their return.
The board stated it felt that these key areas along with others guidelines put undue pressure on all those participating in the flight (veterans, guardians, and board members).
The board added It was felt that it would be better to wait until things improved further in the battle against COVID-19 and that by Spring of 2022 it could schedule a trip more in line with the experience that has been previously offered to 1,855 local veterans over the past 11 years on 57 separate missions.
The Board will wait until new guidelines are provided by Honor Flight National as well as the other entities before deciding on when to resume flights.
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