If you want to board a flight in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic, any mask won’t cut it anymore.
American Airlines became the latest U.S. carrier to ban the use of masks with vents or valves on its flights, according to the company’s website. Alaska, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United have also banned masks with valves and vents from their flights, Business Insider reported.
American updated its policy on Aug. 12, days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines to say vented masks do not help prevent the spread of COVID-19, McClatchy News reported.
“The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control,” according to the CDC. “However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.”
American’s new policy goes into effect Aug. 19, according to a release on the company’s website. The airline started requiring passengers to wear masks on its flights in May, the company said.
“Wearing a face covering is a responsibility we all share. An effective covering, worn properly, is one of the best ways we can control the spread of COVID-19 to protect our team members and customers,” Alison Taylor, American’s chief customer officer, said in the release. “Since American began requiring face coverings in early May, the vast majority of customers have welcomed our continuing efforts to strengthen the policy based on the CDC’s guidance.”
Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country and United all require passengers age 2 or older to wear masks, USA Today reported. Delta, Sun Country, Hawaiian and Allegiant allow for some medical exemptions, according to USA Today.