Several airlines to allow passengers to fly without masks following new CDC order

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 05, 2021

Several airlines in the U.S. will now allow passengers to fly without masks to align with a new order issued by the Centers for Disease Control that'll exempt those with disabilities from wearing a mask.

According to the order that was issued Monday, those that are exempt are ones who physically can’t wear a mask or can’t safely wear a mask "because of the disability as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act."

In response to the new order, American Airlines adjusted their mask-wearing policies by announcing that passengers with disabilities are exempt from wearing masks but must confirm that they contacted the airline’s Special Assistance team at least 72 hours before their flight.

"Exemptions will require documentation from a licensed health care provider, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from COVID-19," the airline said in a press release. "Additionally, American will update its guidelines for acceptable mask types to prohibit bandanas and gaiters."

Another airline changing its mask policy is Alaska Airlines, whose new policy allows for medical exemptions. The airline said customers must contact the airline five days before their flight to request an exemption.

Both American and Alaska said you have to also provide them with a doctor's note and a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before your flight to be exempt from wearing a mask.