American Airlines Latest to Ban Face Masks with Valves or Vents

By Kurt Stolz on 13 August 2020
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American Airlines said it had banned all face masks with valves or vents, following the release of new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that advised against the use of any such masks as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll.

The move comes shortly after other major airlines including United, JetBlue, and Delta took similar action.

“The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control,” the CDC said in a statement. “Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus.”

“Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent,” the agency concluded.

Calling the wearing of a mask a “responsibility,” the airline said that only “effective” coverings should be worn.

“Since American began requiring face coverings in early May, the vast majority of customers have welcomed our continuing efforts to strengthen the policy based on the CDC’s guidance,” said Alison Taylor, the airline’s chief customer officer.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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