Saturday, 2 May 2020

Delta Air Lines to require everyone to wear a mask from Monday 4th May

Delta Air Lines is the latest in a string of high-profile US air carriers to mandate that face -masks must be worn by all employees and customers, although while most are starting around the 10 or 11th of May, Delta is introducing the requirement from this coming Monday, May 4th.

Worryingly, Delta is saying staff and flyers will "experience an extra layer of protection" by wearing the masks, which may leave people feeling somehow invincible, or safer than they actually are. As if the mask is going to stop them getting coronavirus COVID-19 when in reality,  most scientific studies have shown than normal domestic face masks and coverings will offer very minimal protection at best against catching this virus, although it will significantly reduce your ability to spread the virus if you have it. Of course, that's all the time the said mask is dry, after it gets wet, well that's a different story.

Delta is, as it says, aligning with best practice guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we've asked them for clarification on this.  It is also completely at odds with the advice issued by the World Health Organization that says that only health professionals or those who are sick and showing symptoms or caring for people suspected to have coronavirus should be wearing masks. 

As greater knowledge of this, still relatively little understood virus becomes available, the advice from various experts and scientific bodies changes and evolves, so it is prudent to keep abreast of the latest information from a range of reputable agencies and organizations. Whilst wearing a face mask may not protect you,  it helps protect others around you. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has a tutorial on how to make your own mask, says cloth face coverings should:
  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape

Earlier this week Delta issued an order to all its staff around the world, that they would now be required to don a mask if they are unable to maintain six feet of distance with customers or each other. Six feet is just over 1.8 metres, which is less than the 2 metres social distance required in the UK and many other countries in which Delta has employees, which could cause confusion.

For more details on masks and things you might not know, visit here

Other actions Delta is taking:
Employee temperature checks
Enhanced cleaning measures implemented in airports and on aircraft
Expanding electrostatic spraying procedures, which disinfect employee work and break areas, to more locations
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and our customers,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “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 travelling with us.” 

Face coverings will be required starting in the check-in lobby and across Delta touchpoints including Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas, jet bridges and onboard the aircraft for the duration of the flight – except during meal service. Their use is also strongly encouraged in high-traffic areas including security lines and restrooms. People unable to keep a face covering in place, including children, are exempt. Whilst Delta wants passengers to bring their own face covering when travelling, supplies will be available for customers who need them. 

Delivering on Delta’s New Standard of Clean  

Expanding electrostatic sanitizing spraying – to all aircraft and adopting extensive pre-flight cleaning practices that disinfect high-touch areas – on top of existing cleaning measures and the use of state-of-the-art air circulation systems with HEPA filters that extract more than more than 99.999% of even the tiniest viruses on many Delta aircraft.

Taking steps to give customers and employees more space for safer travel on the ground and in the air by blocking middle seats, reducing the number of customers on each flight and pausing automatic Medallion Complimentary Upgrades.

Adjusting the boarding process to encourage more space for safer travel by boarding all flights from back-to-front — reducing the instances of customers needing to pass by one another to reach their seats.

Streamlining onboard food and beverage service on all flights and encouraging customers to pack their own food and beverages to decrease touchpoints.

Providing supplies directly to customers when available, including hand sanitizers, amenity kits and other protective equipment to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Connecting with health experts, partners and healthcare industry leaders on best practices 

A comprehensive list of onboard changes can be found on  

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