Southwest Airlines has joined the ranks of carriers requiring face coverings when traveling. The Southwest face mask policy is straightforward. We have all the details about Southwest’s new face covering policy.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines are now requiring face masks or face coverings while traveling. For example, Alaska now requires passengers to wear a mask, as does American. Most airlines are following suit and it’s very likely that for the foreseeable future, any air travel will require passengers to wear a face covering.
Southwest Airlines has recently joined this not-so-exclusive club and is now requiring travelers to wear face masks during their trip.
Southwest Face Mask Policy
As of May 11, 2020, Southwest Airlines requires all customers to wear a face covering while flying. Southwest Airlines encourages passengers to bring their own face masks, but will provide them to passengers if necessary.
Southwest also now requires its crew to wear masks along with gate agents and most employees. Furthermore, Southwest strongly encourages customers to bring hand sanitizer with them for frequent germ-removal. As our readers may be aware, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has relaxed it’s 3:1:1 rule for hand sanitizer and now allows up to 12 oz bottles of hand sanitizer.
It’s important to note that while Southwest is requiring face masks it will not enforce them and it will not deny passengers entry to the plane who do not have them. This is according to CNN who broke the news after getting it’s hands on an internal memo.
Where to buy Face Masks & Face Coverings for Traveling on Southwest (or any airline)
Almost any face mask or face covering will satisfy Southwest Airlines’ new face mask policy, but be aware that surgical grade masks and N-95 masks should be reserved for medical professionals in accordance with CDC guidance.
We’ve published an entire guide on where to purchase face masks for travel here and here’s a sample of one possible option for traveling with a face covering:
Note: while not yet required, there is some talk about requiring temperature checks when traveling. We will, of course, update you when we know more, but in the event you are considering bringing a travel-sized thermometer, we have a guide for you.
Southwest is stepping up it’s hygiene in general
Like most airlines, Southwest has significantly increased its focus on cleanliness and hygiene for both employees and passengers alike. Here’s a sample of some of the countermeasures Southwest is now employing to help keep passengers safe:
- An electrostatic disinfectant and anti-microbial spray is sprayed on every inch of the airline
- Each plane is cleaned from nose to tail during the evening hours when not in use. This cleaning lasts between 6-7 hours
- Gate areas are cleaned multiple times each day
- Hand sanitizer and wipes are made available at gate areas and on planes
- They’ve changed the boarding process by only boarding 10 people at a time and only using one side of the traditional Southwest boarding poles. This is to help encourage social distancing
This is just a snippet of the many, many measures Southwest (like most airlines) is now taking to minimize the chance of infection while traveling. See the full gamut of Southwest’s measures here.
Thanks for stopping by and stay safe out there
Thanks for stopping in to learn about the Southwest Face Mask Policy. We hope you don’t have to travel right now, but if you do, please exercise caution, and be sure to confirm any specific travel safety requirements now necessary both on your airline, at your hotel, and the airport your are flying in/out of. Be safe!
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