All passengers travelling onboard JetBlue aircraft will be required to wear face coverings beginning May 4, 2020.
In a press release issued on Monday, the airline explained that the measures come after it initially instructed all staff and cabin crew members to don face coverings while working.
The new policy necessitates that all passengers wear a face covering that shields their mouth and nose for the duration of their travels, including check-in, boarding, in the air, and deplaning.
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“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself; it’s about protecting those around you,” Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer of JetBlue, said in the release.
“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.”
According to the CDC, appropriate face coverings should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape
The release continues that passengers will receive reminders of the new requirement prior to their flight via email. Additionally, there will be signs and announcements in the airport terminal.
Small children who are unable to maintain a face covering will be exempt from the updated requirements.
JetBlue has also restricted seating available for purchase on a majority of its flights since late March, enabling the airline to supply additional spacing between passengers who are not traveling with each other.
“Before each flight, JetBlue reviews seat assignments to ensure as much personal space as possible,” the release explains. “In addition, rows near crewmember jump seats have been blocked off to create buffer zones for added crewmember and customer safety.”