Southwest is the latest major U.S. airline to issue a mandatory requirement for passengers to wear face masks.
Beginning May 11, customers will be required to wear face coverings while onboard. Beginning May 3, employees who interact with travelers will start wearing face masks. If a customer forgets their mask, Southwest will have one available for them.
Other major U.S. airlines have also announced similar policy shifts.
Starting May 4, passengers on United, Delta, JetBlue, Lufthansa and Cape Air will be required to wear masks. Customers will have to wear face masks on Frontier Airlines starting May 8, and American and Alaska Airlines on May 11.
This requirement is already in place on Air Canada.
Other forms of social distancing policies are also in place for the companies, including blocking middle seats, limiting the number of passengers, and altering the boarding process to limit person-to-person contact.