Search

21 May 2022

'A big step forward' - EU announces mask wearing no longer mandatory for air travel

'A big step forward' - EU announces mask wearing no longer mandatory for air travel

The new recommendations take effect on May 16 but rules may still vary by airline if they fly to or from destinations where the rules are different

Authorities have announced the European Union will no longer require masks to be worn at airports and on planes starting next week amid the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the bloc.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it hoped the joint decision, made with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, would mark “a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel” for passengers and crews.

The new guideline “takes account of the latest developments in the pandemic, in particular the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity, and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries”, the two agencies said in a joint statement.

“Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said.

“And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”

While the new recommendations take effect on May 16, rules for masks may still vary by airline beyond that date if they fly to or from destinations where the rules are different.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control director Andrea Ammon said washing hands and social distancing should still be practised, but airport operators are advised not to impose distancing requirements if these are likely to lead to a bottleneck.

The agencies also recommended that airlines keep systems for collecting passenger locator information on standby in case they are needed in future, for example if a new dangerous variant emerges.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.


Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.