Delta Air Lines has temporarily changed its boarding process to better protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Delta has implemented a back-to-front boarding procedure.

During general boarding, passengers will be invited to board by rows, starting at the back. The airline says the change will prevent passengers from having to pass each other to get to their seats. 

The measure will be in place through May 31, but that date could change depending on what is happening with the pandemic.

Pre-boarding is not affected. Those who need extra time and assistance will still get to board first.

Those seated in Delta One, First Class, and Diamond Medallion Members will still be allowed to board at any time.

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To encourage social distancing, Delta says it has been blocking the use of the middle seats. It is also reaching out to customers to potentially re-seat them once the flight reaches 10,000 feet. The airline has also been reducing the number of customers on each flight. Other airlines have announced some of these same measures.

Delta says it has also provided face masks for its employees. Passengers are encouraged to bring their own masks, Delta says. Passengers are also encouraged to bring their own food onboard to reduce the amount of contact with the flight crew. Delta has reduced its food and beverage offerings.

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Delta airlines plane November AP
In this file photo the tails of two Delta Air Lines planes are shown parked at the gates at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
AP