Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Passengers flying onboard JetBlue must wear face masks from May

JetBlue aircraft at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados on January 18, 2020 (FILE)

JetBlue aircraft at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados on January 18, 2020 (FILE)

"Starting May 4 all customers will be required to wear a face-covering during travel."

Jetblue issued this announcement this week (April 27) in a press release.

President and Chief Operating Officer of JetBlue, Joanna Geraghty said: 

“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you.

"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.”

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The policy change is being implemented after the airline mandated that their crew must wear face-covering while working as well.

According to the release, 'JetBlue has modelled its policy on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines that indicate all individuals should wear a face-covering in public to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).'

JetBlue specifies that the face-covering must cover both the nose and mouth throughout the journey including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning.

The airline company said that customers will not be caught unawares of the policy change because "customers will be reminded of this requirement before their flight via email and at the airport by both terminal signage and announcements."

In regard to children, JetBlue stressed: "Small children who are not able to maintain a face covering are exempt from this requirement."

Which face masks are acceptable?

In accordance with the CDC guidelines and definition for a suitable face-covering, JetBlue indicated that the masks should be:

  1. An item of cloth that should fit snugly against the side of the face
  2. Secured with ties or ear loops
  3. Inclusive of multiple layers of fabric and allow for unrestricted breathing.

Jetblue reminded that the Centre for Disease Control 'recommends surgical masks and N-95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.'

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