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Airlines to require passengers to wear face masks to stop spread of COVID-19

(Image source: Shutterstock.com / Matej Kastelic)

The days of flying without anything on your face could likely be over.

In a move to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, several major airlines have decided to implement a rule that will require all passengers to wear face masks.

Airlines, including Delta, JetBlue, American, United and Frontier, have all announced plans that will take place in the upcoming weeks.

Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, all Delta passengers will have to wear masks on flights and at check-in. Since April 27, Delta flight attendants have been required to wear masks. That same day, JetBlue passengers while have to wear a face mask for the duration of each flight.

United Airlines, which was the first airline to require flight attendants to wear face masks, will also require passengers to do the same.

Some airlines have stopped selling middle seats, and Delta will only fill 60 percent of the main cabin and 50 percent in its first-class and business-class sections.

The airline industry has taken a major hit since COVID-19 was deemed a global pandemic. According to The Associated Press, American Airlines lost $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020 due to the social changes that have occurred over the past two months. Additionally, in the first quarter, United Airlines has lost $1.7 billion; Delta reportedly lost $534 million; and Southwest Airlines lost $94 million.

As of Friday, May 1, there were 1,062,446 reported coronavirus cases and 62,406 COVID-19-related deaths in the United States, according to the latest numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. There are 3.3 million coronavirus cases and 239,000 deaths worldwide.