Delta Air Lines will require passengers to wear masks

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Passengers are seen wearing masks and protective gloves at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, United States on March 29, 2020.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines on Thursday became the last airlines to require travelers to wear masks on their planes as carriers take steps to try to protect the health of passengers and crew.

Delta policy requires that travelers wear a mask or other face covering in the check-in area, premium lounges, boarding areas and on board for the entire flight, except during meals. The airline also urges travelers to carry them through security lines and restrooms. The policy takes effect on Monday.

US policy takes effect on May 11. Frontier Airlines has issued a similar requirement which takes effect on May 8.

Earlier this week, JetBlue Airways became the first major US airline to impose masks on travelers.

“We want our passengers to feel comfortable when they fly with us while protecting themselves and their fellow travelers as we all navigate the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier in a press release. “This new measure is aligned with CDC recommendations and those of many municipalities in the United States that include wearing a face covering in public. “

The airlines require flight attendants to wear masks and have stated that they will make masks available to travelers. American said it also plans to distribute disinfectant wipes for travelers starting next month.

Airlines face health precautions on board in the era of coronaviruses, and unions have called for tougher demands from federal regulators. The United States government has recommended that air travelers wear face masks but has not required them. In addition to implementing the new face cover requirements for passengers and crew, airlines are strengthening cabin cleaning and disinfection.

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