United to require all passengers, in-flight personnel to wear face coverings, starting Monday

United Airlines will mandate that all passengers — and all on-board personnel — will be required to wear facemasks, effective Monday, the carrier announced.

Face coverings for passengers will be provided free of charge to those needing them.

United, which was the first major U.S.-based airline to require flight attendants to wear masks when it did so April 24, extended the mandate to all personnel, including front-line workers such as pilots, customer service agents and ramp workers, when on board an aircraft.

United has updated a number of safety features, including an increased cleaning of airlines between flights. It also has changed its onboard service to minimize touchpoints between crew and customers, including: handing snacks and beverages to customers, moving to primarily pre-packaged foods and sealed beverages, suspending its Buy on Board program and hot towel service and using pickup pans to collect trash.

The airline also has changed a number of pre-flight routines that include touchpoints, including temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks in most locations and having customers self-scan their boarding passes.

United is based in Chicago but is one of New Jersey’s 10 largest employers, with more than 16,000 employees in the state, most of which work out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

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