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Aug 11, 2020
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Airlines have tightened mask policies, again. Here's what you need to know
DAWN GILBERTSON | USA TODAY
39 minutes ago
Show Caption
Airlines are tightening face mask rules three months after making masks mandatory on board.

Most major airlines have eliminated any medical exemptions to the rule, and several are cracking down on the types of face coverings allowed. Passengers who refuse to wear masks will generally be denied boarding and might be prohibited from flying the airline again. Delta said it's banned about 130 passengers to date, and Alaska says it will cancel any connecting flights or return flights for travelers who refuse to wear one in flight.

All airlines are insisting passengers wear a mask as soon as they step into the airport and to keep it on throughout the travel journey except to briefly remove to drink or eat.

The goals: further thwart the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, and help convince travelers its safe to fly.

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“We all need to look out for each other during this health emergency, and the best way we can do that – and prevent the spread of the virus – is to simply wear a mask or face covering when we’re around each other,” Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of safety and security said in a statement Friday. "Our tougher policy shows how important this issue is to us and our guests. If you don’t wear a mask, you won’t be flying with us.”

An airline-by-airline roundup of face mask rules
Alaska Airlines
Who must wear: Passengers ages 2 and older.

Medical exemptions: No.

Prohibited face coverings: Masks with direct exhaust valves, face shields without masks underneath and face coverings that don't cover a passenger's nose and mouth.

Details: Alaska website

Allegiant Air
Who must wear: All passengers ages 2 and older.

Medical exemptions: Passengers with medical conditions that prevent the use of a face covering must present documentation from a medical doctor to the gate agent one hour prior to departure.

Prohibited face coverings: None.

Details: Allegiant website

American Airlines
Who must wear: All passengers ages 2 and older.

Medical exemptions: No.

Prohibited face coverings: None. Face shields must be worn with a mask or other face covering underneath. The airline says cloth scarfs and bandannas are allowed if they cover your nose and mouth.

Details: American website

Delta Air Lines
Who must wear: Passengers ages 2 and older. Young children who cannot maintain a face covering and unaccompanied minors are exempt.

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