As airlines struggle with the travel havoc wreaked by the coronavirus, one has become the first to implement a new safety measure to try to control the virus' spread. Business Insider reports that starting May 4, JetBlue will mandate its passengers don face coverings not just for their flight, but "throughout their journey"—which, per a release, includes not only their time on the plane, but also during check-in, boarding, and getting off the plane. Passengers will receive emails as reminders before they head out for their trip, and there will also be signage and announcements in airports. Small children who would have trouble keeping a mask on don't have to adhere to the mandate, though it's not clear if there's an age limit.
"Wearing a face covering isn't about protecting yourself, it's about protecting those around you," says Joanna Geraghty, the airline's president and COO. "This is the new flying etiquette." Crew members have already been wearing masks. JetBlue is also putting in place other safety measures, including filling a limited number of seats on the plane (so as to keep more physical space between passengers), and says it has "increased the rigor" of cleaning its planes in between flights and overnight. "Good job, JetBlue, for being the first US airline to take this responsible step," reads a statement from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. Meanwhile, American Airlines and Delta on Monday said they'd now require crew to wear face masks and would provide masks and sanitizing wipes to passengers, though it's not mandated they use them, per CNBC. (Read more JetBlue stories.)