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If you refuse to wear a face mask on a United Airlines flight, you'll be placed on a no-fly list

The policy kicks in on June 18.

Anna Ben Yehuda

Although airlines have proposed the use of face coverings on board of flights by both passengers and crew members, United Airlines has now taken the measure a step further: travelers refusing to wear masks will be temporarily banned from flying.

Beginning June 18, the carrier will place anyone unwilling to comply with the requirement on a no-fly list. The duration of the ban has yet to be determined.

"Every reputable institution says wearing a mask is one of the most effective things people can do to protect others from contracting COVID-19, especially in places like an aircraft where social distancing is a challenge,” said Toby Enqvist, the chief customer officer at United, in an official statement.

Passengers not donning the covering will initially be asked to wear a mask and crew members will have some on hand to distribute. If refusing to follow instructions, said passenger will be reported and undergo a "formal review process" before officially being banned. Folks with medical conditions that prevent them from covering their faces will be exempt from the requirement.

Although other U.S.-based airlines—including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines—have also announced that they will take action against those refusing to follow their mask-wearing policies, none of them have committed to as sweeping and as official measures as United has. 

For what it's worth, here's what we think: let's help each other out and be as cautious as possible—both on and off airplanes.

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