Some airlines are banning cloth masks.
Several airlines are banning cloth masks, insisting that travellers wear surgical masks, FFP2 masks, or KN95 or N95 masks without a valve.
Since the pandemic began, retailers have jumped at the opportunity to increase profits by selling with colourful branded fabric face masks.
Cloth masks have been hot sellers, allowing wearers to express themselves through fashion while complying with local and federal laws.
However, from a medical standpoint, they have been scrutinised as to whether they are in fact effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
“The filtration effectiveness of cloth masks is generally lower than that of medical masks and respirators; however, cloth masks may provide some protection if well designed and used correctly,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year.
Several European governments and companies are banning cloth masks, arguing that they are not as effective as their medical counterparts.
Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Croatia Airlines, and LATAM Airlines all announced that passengers would not be allowed to wear cloth masks on their flights.
Finnair recently became the latest airline to ban fabric masks, tweeting its new policy last month.
“Starting 16 August, we will no longer accept fabric masks on our flights. We accept surgical masks, FFP2 or FFP3 respirator masks without a valve or other valve free masks with the same standard (N95). Please remember you need to wear a mask throughout the entire journey,” the tweet read.
Currently, no US carrier has required passengers to forgo fabric masks, however, as the Delta variant continues to spread in the country policies could change.