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Delta plans to ban masks with valves on flights

Are certain masks better than others? Delta is now excluding masks with valves. It says masks without vents work best for everyone’s safety. So we wanted to know why.

Walking through Southwest Florida International Airport, you will see almost everyone is wearing a mask.

That’s because several airlines are requiring them. But Delta is now telling travelers which masks passengers can wear on its planes. If an air traveler has a vent on his or her mask, they can’t board a Delta flight.

Extra sanitizing, social distancing and masks have become a part of Delta’s strictly enforced routine to keep passengers safe.

“I think it’s a good thing you know because it’s proven that they are not as protective,” Zach Vincent said.

Delta says it was informed by health officials and other experts that face coverings and masks without vents work best for everyone’s safety.

Dr. Rebekah Bernard, the president of Collier County Medical Society, says she agrees.

“If you’re wearing a mask that has a valve in it,then, you were actually releasing your breath,” Bernard said. “And you’re releasing the potential virus to other people, so wearing a mask with a valve on it almost might not be doing any good whatsoever.”

Travelers at RSW airport told us they’ve felt safe on their flights so far, but they think restricting masks with vents could be a way to make passengers feel even safer.

“Why not wear the most protective mask there is especially while flying?” Vincent said.

“I think, probably from a customer service standpoint, that’s probably a good idea just to say, ‘Listen, people are very scared. Let’s just try to keep people as calm as possible,’” Mike MacManus said.

Mark Love, a loyal Delta customer, says he’s fine with the new rule. He just wants to fly.

“I’ll wear whatever kind of mask they tell me,” Love said. “I’m just glad I get to travel.”

Delta says it has plenty of masks without vents for passengers if they need one before boarding a flight.

Dr. Bernard says she does not think Delta will be the only airline to ban masks with valves, as airlines continue to try to convince customers that it’s safe to fly.

“I do anticipate that we will see more restrictions on the use of valve mask and more recommendations to just simply use a face covering made of cloth or a surgical mask,” Bernard said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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