Coronavirus News: JetBlue is first US airline to require travelers to wear face coverings

NEW YORK CITY -- JetBlue is the first major U.S. airline to require all customers to wear face coverings during travel to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: Lack of passengers grounds about one-third of world's airliners and they need special care while idle

The company announced Monday that the new policy goes into effect on May 4.

The airline had previously required all crew members to wear face coverings while working.

"Wearing a face covering isn't about protecting yourself it's about protecting those around you," said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer of JetBlue. "This is the new flying etiquette. Onboard, cabin air is well circulated and cleaned through filters every few minutes but this is a shared space where we have to be considerate of others. We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well."

RELATED: Starting to wear a face mask in public? What you need to know about when you need to wash it and when you need to toss it

Customers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose throughout their travels, including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.