Lifestyle Travel Delta Flight Forced to Turn Around After 2 Passengers Refuse to Wear Face Masks The incident occurred a day after Delta's CEO said that passengers who refuse to wear masks will be banned from flying with the airline By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Associate Editor, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 3, 2020 01:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Delta airplane. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty A Delta flight was forced to return to its gate after two passengers refused to wear masks onboard amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A spokesperson for the airline told PEOPLE in an email statement that the plane "returned to the gate following two customers who were non-compliant with crew instructions," before adding that the plane departed to its destination "after a short delay." According to Delta's website, "Delta customers and employees are required to wear a face mask, or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their travel, aligning with best practice guidelines from the CDC." United Airlines Warns It May Layoff Half of Its U.S. Staff, 36,000 Employees: 'A Last Resort' MATT CAMPBELL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock The incident occurred a day after Delta's CEO Ed Bastian said that passengers who refuse to wear masks will be banned from flying with the airline. "You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on,'' Bastian told Today on July 22. "If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don't fly Delta into the future." Bastian added that Delta had already banned more than 100 people from flying because of their refusal to wear masks and the Delta spokesperson did not address whether or not the two passengers who were removed from the Atlanta-bound flight were banned from flying with the airline in the future. RELATED VIDEO: Plane Passengers Come Together to Help Dad In Last Row Make His Twins' Father-daughter Dance Delta also previously announced that passengers who claim they are unable to wear masks due to a health condition must be medically cleared at the airport or consider another mode of transit. "We implemented a new procedure this week because we've had some customers indicate that they have an underlying condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous for them," Bastian said. "We've told them that you may not want to fly, to reconsider whether air travel is the right form of transportation." CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 02: Passenger go through TSA screening at a nearly-deserted O'Hare International Airport on April 2, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The airport, which typically serves 8.2 million passengers a month, has closed two of its seven runways as the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced air travel. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images). Scott Olson/Getty The airline's "Clearance-to-Fly" procedure involves a screening conducted with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and STAT-MD, a physician service that provides consulting to airlines, according to Today. Major U.S. airlines' policies about wearing masks and social distancing on flights vary. American Airlines asks all passengers except children and those with medical exemptions to wear a mask on planes. And United has said passengers who won't wear a mask may be put on a restricted travel list. Delta, Southwest, Jet Blue and Alaska have also enacted safe social distancing measures, such as leaving middle seats empty on their flights. United Airlines never instituted a practice of leaving seats empty to allow for social distancing, while American Airlines has ended their previously instituted limited capacity rules as of July 1, despite the continued surge in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. To date, there have been 4.6 million cases in the country and 154,000 people have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.