EU set to scrap mask mandates on flights
It’s been a long time coming but from next week the EU will drop the requirement to wear masks at airports and on flights, according to an announcement on Wednesday.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency, in partnership with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said in a statement that the recommendation would come into effect from May 16.
However, individual airlines can still apply mask measures if they travel between destinations where the rules are different.
euro news reported that the statement said it would mark “a big step forward in the standardization of air travel” for passengers and crew.
The joint statement said the new measures “take into account the latest developments in the pandemic, in particular the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity, and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in an increasing number of European countries”.
EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky added that passengers should continue to make smart choices when traveling. For example, if a passenger coughs and sneezes, he must wear a mask to reassure the travelers around him.
These updated health guidelines still make it clear that travelers are safer when wearing masks against contracting Covid-19.
And although passenger locator forms, the essential bureaucracy for travel over the past two years, were no longer needed across the region, he recommended airlines keep traveler information handy and easily accessible. if another variant of Covid-19 emerges and people need to be informed quickly.
The two agencies also added that “it is important to keep in mind that along with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, wearing a mask is one of the best methods to reduce transmission.”
The European travel sector is likely to react favorably to the news, with an ever-growing list of countries removing Covid-related travel restrictions in the region.