Face masks with valves to make breathing more comfortable defeat the whole purpose of wearing masks, experts say—and JetBlue has joined airlines banning them. The airline says that as of Aug. 10, masks with vents or exhalation valves will no longer be acceptable, and passengers will no longer be able to claim exemptions from wearing face coverings, Fox News reports. The airline says that with coronavirus cases rising in many states, it will also continue blocking middle seats on larger planes until at least Oct. 15.
JetBlue president Joanne Geraghty said the policy is intended "to offer the strongest level of protection for everyone given all that we currently know about how COVID-19 is transmitted," reports the New York Daily News. She said all customers over the age of 2 will need to wear "a proper face covering" or delay their travel until masks are no longer required. Alaska Airlines also announced Wednesday that it will be tightening its mask policy. The airline says that as of Friday, all passengers will be required to wear face masks and those who refuse to comply will have to leave the aircraft or be banned from the airline for life, the Hill reports. (Read more JetBlue stories.)