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Coronavirus Update: United Strengthens Face Mask Policy

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Good morning, it’s Tuesday, June 16. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

Worldwide, there are over 8 million cases of the virus, with over 437,000 deaths.

The U.S. has 2.1 million cases, with over 116,000 deaths.

And Brazil has over 888,000 cases, with 43,000 reported deaths.

United Airlines has strengthened its policy for customers who refuse to wear a mask.

And six other major airlines pledge to do the same--including Southwest, American Airlines, and Delta.

United has said that starting June 18, customers could find themselves on the restricted travel list if they refuse to wear a mask.

However, United said that customers will not be forcibly removed from their flight simply for not wearing a mask.

United Airlines flight attendants will first inform non-mask wearing customers that masks are mandatory aboard the plane. If the customer doesn’t have a mask, then the flight attendants will offer them one.

However, if the customer still refuses to put on a mask, flight attendants "will do their best to de-escalate the situation [and] again inform the customer of United's policy."

Flight attendants will file an incident report if the flier still refuses and then United’s security team will review.

This announcement was made on Monday and comes as states such as Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona are all seeing spikes in coronavirus cases.

Per Airlines for America, the industry group for the major airlines, all major airlines will step up their mandatory face mask rules. 

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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