(KRON) – Starting May 4, all passengers on JetBlue Airways flights will be required to face masks or other face coverings as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The policy comes after the New York-based airline began requiring all crewmembers wear face coverings while working.
JetBlue is the first US airline to enact a face-covering policy for passengers amid concerns about the spread of the virus.
“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting those around you,” JetBlue’s President Joanna Geraghty said in a statement. “This is the new flying etiquette.”
Passengers on JetBlue flights will be required to wear the face coverings during check-in, boarding, while in flight, and deplaning, officials said.
Flyers will also be reminded of the policy via email. Posted signs and announcements will also be made at the airport.
JetBlue said small children are exempt from the policy.
The announcement comes after a passenger onboard an American Airlines flight from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina said social distancing was not possible aboard her full flight and documented the experience on social media.
Since late March, JetBlue has limited the number of seats available for sale on most flights, providing additional space between people who are not traveling together, the airline said.
On Monday, other airlines including American and Delta announced they will require employees to wear face coverings and would provide masks for passengers, although they are not mandated but rather recommended.
Last week, United Airlines started mandating face coverings for its flight attendants, following similar requirements by Frontier.
Air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic is at record lows.
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