ATLANTA, GA — Delta Air Lines announced Thursday evening that it will require all customers to wear masks or face coverings starting Monday. The Atlanta-based airline encourages travelers to bring their own but will provide face coverings for free to customers who need them.
The masks must be worn at check-in, in gate areas, Sky Clubs, on jet bridges and onboard the plane, except during meal service.
People unable to keep a face covering in place, including children, are exempt from the requirement.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and our customers,” said Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer, in a news release. “While we remain committed to our new standard of clean and to providing more space for our customers when they travel, we take seriously the CDC guidelines for adding this extra layer of protection. We believe this change will give customers and employees some additional comfort when traveling with us.”
Delta said customers will be notified about the temporary requirement by email before their flight.
This isn't the first step the airline has made to protect workers and customers during the coronavirus crisis. In April, Delta announced that middle seats will no longer be available on flights. From April 13 through May 31, the airline is reducing the number of passengers on each flight and blocking all middle seats.
Delta is also expanding temperature screenings, offering paid protection for workers who are at higher risk, providing hand sanitizer and instituting other precautions.