JetBlue to require all customers to wear face coverings during travel

Coronavirus

Two jetBlue airplanes line up in preparation for take-off, Saturday, March 14, 2020, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Travel restrictions and a slump in demand due to the coronavirus have forced airlines to cancel many flights and temporarily reduce staff. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (WBTW) — JetBlue will require all customers to wear face coverings during travel starting on May 4, according to a release from the airline.

JetBlue made the announcement Tuesday, saying “the policy comes after the airline began requiring all crewmembers to wear face coverings while working.”

“JetBlue has modeled its policy on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines that indicate all individuals should wear a face-covering in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19),” the airline continued. “This new policy will require customers to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey, including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning. Customers will be reminded of this requirement before their flight via email and at the airport by both terminal signage and announcements. Small children who are not able to maintain a face covering are exempt from this requirement.”

CDC guidance defines a suitable face covering as an item of cloth that should fit snugly against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric and allow for unrestricted breathing,” the airline added. “The CDC recommends surgical masks and N-95 respirators be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.”

“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer for JetBlue. “This is the new flying etiquette. Onboard, cabin air is well circulated and cleaned through filters every few minutes but this is a shared space where we have to be considerate of others. We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well.”

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