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JetBlue to require passengers to wear face coverings

American Airlines said it will pass out face coverings to its customers.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Face coverings will be required wearing on all JetBlue flights starting next week in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The airline on Monday announced the policy comes after it required its crew members to wear coverings while working on flights, according to a news release. 

It goes into effect on May 4.

Such coverings by themselves aren't groundbreaking -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks the public to wear them while out and about to slow the spread of the virus -- but JetBlue is the first airline to mandate them.

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Its customers will be required to cover their nose and mouth from check-in, to boarding, in-flight and deplaning, the company said. Small children are exempt from wearing face coverings.

"Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you," said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's president and chief operating officer. "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."

American Airlines isn't requiring its flyers to wear face coverings, but it will pass them out in early May, in addition to sanitizing wipes or gels. Flight attendants will be required to wear them starting May 1.

Delta Air Lines last week said it will fog every flight within its network to keep planes clean. The Los Angeles Times reports its flight attendants will need to wear masks while working and, so too, will Frontier Airline flight attendants.

United Airlines flight attendants are required to wear masks, and they were the first in the U.S. to do so, the company said.

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