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AFA Statement on First U.S. Airline to Require Passengers Wear Masks

Date: April 27, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 27, 2020) — The first U.S. airline, jetBlue, announced Monday night that it will require all passengers to wear a face mask on flights starting May 4. AFA President Sara Nelson said: 

"Good job, jetBlue for being the first U.S. airline to take this responsible step, which CDC advises will help slow the spread of the virus. Most U.S. airlines are now requiring Flight Attendants to wear a mask while working, but we need passengers to wear masks in order to best protect everyone onboard, including crew. All airlines should follow jetBlue's lead, including its efforts to fully communicate the change before it becomes effective next week so that Flight Attendants are not put in the position of being enforcers without information and backing from the airline. 

"In the meantime, we encourage all passengers to voluntarily wear a face covering while traveling. We  continue to call on DOT and HHS to mandate masks for all crew, employees and passengers in airports and on airplanes. We must do everything we can to flatten the curve, restore passenger confidence, and help frontline essential aviation workers feel safer about coming to work. We're all in this together."
 
On April 23, AFA sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar to implement new, stronger measures to protect flight crews and passengers from the spread of COVID-19, including mandating all crews, employees and passengers wear masks onboard and in the airports. 

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