By Matthew Roscoe •
Updated: 11 May 2022 • 13:50
In a joint statement, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have said that mandatory rules for wearing Covid face masks will be dropped in airports and on flights next week as they look to “normalise of air travel.”
The measure will be dropped from Monday, May 16 across Europe, according to the statement, which also said: “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: “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.
“For passengers and aircrews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel.
“Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them”.
Andrea Ammon, Director of the ECDC, said: “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.
“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”
Officials have stated that some airlines may continue to enforce the rule if they continue to require their use and that airport operators should impose social distancing rules if needed.
The move proposed by the two authorities has also stated that the rules should align with national face mask measures on public transport, something that may affect Spanish airlines and flights as under current rules face masks are still mandatory for people using public transport.
Airlines are still encouraged to give passengers the option of wearing facemasks but passengers should “respect others’ decision to wear or to not wear a mask”.
It adds: “In their communication, operators should highlight that people at high risk for severe Covid-19 are advised to wear an FFP2 respirator mask during the flight for their own protection,” as reported by the Evening Standard.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com.
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