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Major U.S. airlines to require passengers to wear face masks

DALLAS (AP) — The three biggest U.S. airlines announced Thursday they will require passengers to wear face makes during flights. Face coverings are strictly optional on other airlines.

Democrats in Congress have been pressuring the Trump administration to require masks, which they say will help protect passengers and airline crews from the virus that causes COVID-19.

Beyond masks, several airlines are blocking at least some middle seats, but they say that’s just a temporary measure.

Airlines say they are stepping up airplane cleaning and taking other steps during the virus pandemic.