WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The airline company, JetBlue Airways, is to oblige all its passengers to wear face protection during flights.
- JetBlue says its decision to implement such a measure is aligned with CDC’s travel guidelines.
- The AFA urged both the U.S Transportation and Health and Human Services departments to mandate airline companies about the use of PPE.
On Monday, JetBlue Airways become the first U.S. airline company to announce that they would require all their passengers to wear face masks in their flights.
According to a statement by JetBlue, by May 4, it will be required for passengers to wear a mask covering for their nose and mouth all through the duration of the flight.
Face masks shall also be mandatory for passengers during check-in procedures, boarding, and disembarking.
JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer, Joanna Geraghty, said that they are requesting passengers to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) measures implemented on the airports as well.
Geraghty noted that wearing face masks does not only protect one’s self but other people in airports or flights, as well.
The CDC released an advisory in early April telling citizens to wear face protection in public, especially if social distancing restrictions are difficult to follow.
The airline company also plans to send email reminders about wearing a face mask to its customers, and will also remind them at the airport. They will exempt small kids who are not capable of keeping wearing protection for a long time.
Meanwhile, JetBlue already began implementing the face-covering guideline to its staff members while on the job.
Around March, JetBlue has also modified the seating capacity of flights per social distancing guidelines.
Another carrier, American Airlines, said on a statement on Monday, that it is also to implement face mask restrictions to all its flight attendants starting May 1. The airline company is to provide its passengers with personal protective equipment (PPE) while in flight as well.
On Friday, United Airlines obliged its flight attendants to wear face masks.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) on Thursday filed a request to Elaine Chao, secretary for the U.S Transportation, and Secretary Alex Azar of secretary for Health and Human Services to make use of its authority to require face masks and PPE in the airline industry for their employees, flight crews, and passengers.
The group, which represents 50,000 flight crews of all 20 airlines, also requested government agencies to put on hold all leisure travels amidst the coronavirus crisis or until the infection is successfully contained.
The letter request by the AFA also noted that there no less than 250 flight attendants from their member airlines are confirmed to have COVID-19.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement to NBC News that it would adhere to the guidelines set by the federal public health agencies for the flight crews, monitoring, and proper cleaning of the aircraft.
A spokesman from the CDC acknowledges AFA’s request, noting that its recommendations include the utilization of face-covering during travel situations.
Source: NBC News