Five of America’s largest airlines announced this week that they will require all passengers to wear masks during travel, as pressure mounts from unions and Senate Democrats for the federal government to issue a mandate requiring that facial coverings be worn by everyone on any U.S. flight.
What are the details?
As many states start to reopen for business and travel following weeks of coronavirus lockdowns, carriers are implementing social distancing and safety measures as Americans begin returning to the skies.
ABC News reported that on Monday, JetBlue became the first major airline in the U.S. to announce all its passengers “must wear a covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey…including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning.”
On Thursday, Delta, American, United, and Frontier airlines all joined JetBlue in implementing separate policies requiring passengers to wear masks. According to Politico, “so far, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is the lone holdout among the nation’s biggest airlines.”
In a separate report, ABC News noted that Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) on Wednesday “sent a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urging them to ‘immediately issue a rule requiring face masks for all individuals engaged in air travel.”
Sen. Markey tweeted Thursday, “Every person who flies during #COVID19 should be *required* to wear a face mask during the flight. We cannot rely on individual airlines’ policies. @SenBlumenthal and I are demanding the Trump admin issue a nationwide rule to protect the crew, passengers, and the public.”