Delta to require travelers to wear masks or face coverings starting May 4

Delta will soon be requiring all travelers to wear a mask or face covering on their flights, according to a company update released Thursday.

The new policy goes into effect on May 4. This comes after the company announced earlier this week that it would be requiring all employees to wear face masks if they aren't able to stay six feet apart from others. Company officials says they're making the changes to follow CDC best practice guidelines.

Face coverings will be required in the check-in lobby, Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas, jet bridges and during the flights, except during meal service. Use is encouraged in security lines and restrooms.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and our customers,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer in a press release. “While we remain committed to our new standard of clean and to providing more space for our customers when they travel, we take seriously the CDC guidelines for adding this extra layer of protection. We believe this change will give customers and employees some additional comfort when traveling with us.” 

People who are unable to keep a face covering in place, such as children, are exempt from the rule.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own face covering or mask, but supplies will be available for those who need them.