EU drops air travel face mask mandate

From next week facemasks will no longer be mandatory in airports and on flights in Europe.

EU drops air travel face mask mandate

From next week facemasks will no longer be mandatory in airports and on flights in Europe

The easing of measures will be effective as of May 16 but authorities stressed masks are still the most effective way to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” the EASA said in a statement.

‘Start to relax measures’ EU authorities say 

“It is a relief to all of us that we are finally reaching a stage in the pandemic where we can start to relax the health safety measures,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said. “For many passengers, and also aircrew members, there is a strong desire for masks to no longer be a mandatory part of air travel. We are now at the start of that process.”

Italy, France, Bulgaria and other European countries had already started easing or ending their Covid measures

In April, several US airlines said face masks were no longer necessary onboard after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the mandate on public transport was unlawful. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission,” ECDC Director Andrea Ammon cautioned.

From next week, face mask rules are expected to vary, with the ECDC recommending airlines encourage passengers to use face masks on flights to or from destinations where wearing a mask on public transport is still required. 

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