Face masks no longer recommended on European flights from Monday
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will no longer recommend that people on airplanes wear face masks. The advice, which has been in effect since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, will expire on Monday. The organizations also believe that the other coronavirus rules that create obstacles for airlines can be relaxed.
This can take place now because the lion's share of European residents have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from an infection of the coronavirus, said the organizations. The recommendation is not binding, so passengers may encounter different rules from one airline to the next. In the Netherlands, an official face mask obligation remains, but airlines have based in the country decided weeks ago they will no longer enforce the rule because of increased confusion over changing policies, and conflicts between flight crews and passengers.
The face mask remains one of the best ways to protect oneself against the coronavirus, the ECDC and EASA emphasized. Passengers should also take into consideration the health and peace of mind of their travel companions, and to wear a mask if they are constantly sneezing or coughing, for example.
Those who fly to a destination where face masks are still mandatory in public transport should also continue to wear one on the airplane, the European services advised. Vulnerable passengers would also be wise to continue to wear a face mask, and to keep a safe physical distance from others where possible.
Reporting by ANP.