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Tui follows Jet2 and drops the requirement for a face mask

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Nine days ago, low cost carrier Jet2 became the first UK airline to remove the requirement to wear a face mask on its flights.

Tui has now put additional pressure on British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and easyJet by also scrapping face masks.

According to the updated Tui website:

“It’s no longer a legal requirement for those travelling to or from England or Northern Ireland to wear a face mask during their TUI Airways flight, but – in accordance with UK government and EU Charter guidance – we do still strongly recommend that you do so.

It’s really important that everyone aged 12 and over flying to or from Wales or Scotland wears a mask throughout their journey, even if they’re fully vaccinated.

No matter which UK nation you’re flying to or from: If you’re flying to the USA, everyone aged 2 and over must wear a mask throughout your flight – this is mandatory. If you’re medically exempt, you must carry evidence of this. Just so you know, Sunflower Lanyards are not accepted as evidence.

No matter which UK nation you’re flying to or from: If you’re flying to Italy, everyone aged 6 and over must wear an FFP2 mask throughout your flight – this is mandatory. If you’re medically exempt, you must carry evidence of this. Just so you know, Sunflower Lanyards are not accepted as evidence.”

Masks have not been required for domestic flights in Scandinavia for some time, of course.

For British Airways mask removal is likely to be a commercial rather than a legal issue. Some people will refuse to fly if the airline removes mask requirements. Some people will refuse to fly if the airline retains face masks. Until the first group becomes smaller than the second group, you can expect restrictions at BA to continue.

Comments (125)

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  • Peter says:

    Next we don’t need to wear seatbelts anymore?

    • Bimbo says:

      Seriously 🙄? I don’t remember wearing a mask 5, 10, 15 years ago, but I remember wearing seatbelts since forever.

      • Andrew. says:

        In the olden days, people didn’t wear seatbelts in the car.

        Until 1991, you could just chuck your kids in the back of the car without worrying about seatbelts. Even after that there were still plenty of cars around without seatbelts in the back. There were huge tantrums at the time, more so when front seatbelts were mandated.

        Once the US yields to the far right anti-maskers, BA and Virgin will probably change their overall policies.

        Until then, there are hundreds of passengers being banned daily from US airlines. These are probably people that you wouldn’t want to sit next to on a flight, so every day improves the domestic flight experience over there.

        • Spurs drive me mad says:

          Olden days? It was 1983 not 1883! Once you start spouting “ far right anti maskers” you lose the argument. Best you stay hiding behind the sofa let the rest of us live our lives how we want to.

          • NorthernLass says:

            Also – why are we splitting anti-maskers by political affiliation? Piers Corbyn, for instance, is an anti-masker but demonstrably not far-right. Is it ok to be left-wing and an anti-masker then?

          • Andrew. says:

            That’s close to 40 years ago. I work with someone who was born in 1983 and is a Granny. There are people on a Club 18-30 holiday in 1983 who have been paying into their Sun-Life over 50 plans for nearly 20 years. There also also people who were on a Club 18-30 holiday in 1983 who are now in care homes for the elderly.

            Just a few months after Channel 4 launch, 5 years before people could use online home banking, 1983 is the olden days now, just as the second world war was the olden days in 1983.

            In the US it’s the far right who are anti-mask. Just watch the videos of the Karens wielding their crucifixes US domestic flights. Over here the the far left who are anti-mask, we’ve all seen the Corbyn crew out.

          • Rob says:

            I do find it strange (as someone who was – just – a teenager in 1983) that, as you say, the distance between then and the end of the war was the same as the distance between now and then (which of course still feels like yesterday).

          • Prince Charles says:

            “I work with someone who was born in 1983 and is a Granny.”
            Wow – a granny aged just 38/39?? – I’m doing the maths, and it doesn’t seem legal to me. I hope somebody called the police!

          • Rob says:

            Sister of a good friend of mine was a granny at 36/37. My mate was an great uncle before he had a child of his own.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          good point, the selfish folk who were flouting the mask rules were probably serial rule breakers when it was a legal requirement were probably gaily getting covid and hence spreading it

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Federal mandatory masking law for transport etc was only extended 1 month about 8 days before it expired which is the shortest extension at the latest moment since it first came in

          Could well be coming to an end after this extension expires mid April.

      • Spurs drive me mad says:

        The disdain just drips from your posts Andrew. At the very least you come across as ageists and at worse you’re a snob. I’m glad this “ far right anti masker “ doesn’t have people like you in my life.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Replace masks with seatbelts and there were people with the same view as yours back in the 80s. And then the motor industry lobbyists were the ones pushing back because it implied cars were dangerous,l.

        “Well we didn’t have these yesterday so why do we need them today?” It’s a flimsy argument rather…

    • NorthernLass says:

      I think the point is that pandemics come and go, the laws of physics don’t!

    • JerrySignfield says:

      You will probably enjoy Canada

    • Ben says:

      I didn’t know there was a vaccine to protect you from the laws of physics ?

  • Rob Collins says:

    Good to know that there are so many qualified virologists and immunologists on this forum.

  • BobT says:

    The more other airlines ditch their mask mandates the safer it becomes to fly BA. Long may it continue.

    • NorthernLass says:

      Ok, please post the data to prove this when it’s released!

      • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

        BobT, meet Rach….I predict a friendship

      • BobT says:

        You don’t need to wait for the data – it’s by definition. If the people who are more dangerous to fly with are choosing to fly on other airlines, it makes those airlines they are choosing not to fly with safer, ipso facto.

        • Mike says:

          You do realise the pandemic will end at some point, right? Just like others have in the past. Are you suggesting we should keep on wearing masks forever, just because?

          • Rob says:

            It doesn’t end, that’s the point.

            Spanish Flu is still with us, 100 years on, albeit in an Omicron-style heavily watered down version to which most are now immune. No-one is testing for that before you fly though.

    • Jayne says:

      The sooner all airlines remove mandatory faces the better and the happier I will be to fly

    • Rob says:

      Keep out of Business Class then, where most people have now worked out how to keep drinks and food permanently on the go for the entire duration.

      • David says:

        Virgin upper class to JFK: is it essentially back up to regular F and B now?

      • NorthernLass says:

        I worked that out long before masks were a thing!

      • Catherine says:

        I find it hard to imagine who these people who supposedly fly business/first and like wearing masks actually are. Masks are literally just for the scared masses in Y at this point. I’ve not seen anyone wear a mask in a professional/ City context for about two months.

      • swifty says:

        Been doing that in business since oct 2020, whilst chatting to an older lecturing consultant virologist, mask hanging off his ear. Was quietly amused, till i came down with covid the next day. I still can’t work out how I got it, was wearing a mask 24/7 in Lanzarote, the Spanish were hot on them, I can only conclude my mask wasn’t working properly

        • John says:

          Or that it didn’t stop you from getting infected individually, but on a population level if most people are wearing masks properly fewer people would be infected over the same period of time compared to no or improperly worn masks

  • JerrySignfield says:

    It’s no longer a legal requirement, so there is no need for private businesses to continue to try and mandate masks etc and quite frankly I would avoid such businesses that do so

  • Jack says:

    Wearing a face mask which evidence shows keeps others safe is not a big deal. airlines like BA and Vrigin unlike budget airlines operate to many places with different rules in place and therefore are unlikely to change stance for years so that is clear for all. either wear one which is not a big deal or do not travel right now it is not hard really sick of the moans from people all the time over it being against human rights etc.

    • Char Char says:

      There is no evidence that shows it keeps people safe if the person isn’t sick in the first place, just more nonsense for masks advocates to spread

  • Matarredondaaa says:

    Anti mask comments make me very cross.
    Wearing masks reduces the risk of the wearer.
    Covid cases in Scotland are now at highest level since the pandemic began at one in 18 with England at one in 25.
    Mark my words we will soon have another full blown emergency on our hands
    As evidenced by many on here so many have forgotten what we have learned over the last 2 years with social distancing and mask wearing.
    What on earth is the issue with wearing a mask?

    • Mike P says:

      Covid, in most people, is akin to a minor cold. Let’s stop the virtue signalling, get rid of the masks and let people make their own decisions.

    • Char Char says:

      We are beyond counting cases now, the idea is not stopping spread anymore as the virus isn’t as bad as previously though. That’s a fact from the scientists.

      You want to wear a mask then wear one and stop bothering others about it, weird people have this fetish for others to mask up.

      The average age of death is still 83 so let’s not carried away again as evidenced over the last 2 years

    • Guy Incognito says:

      Well given that Scotland has continued with more restrictions (including enforcing mask wearing) yet has more cases I’d say that the empirical evidence would point to the fact that wearing a mask makes you *more* likely to catch it…
      I’m exempt from wearing masks. It’s none of your business as to why. And if masks work as well as you claim (despite the empirical evidence to the contrary) then you should be fine if you wear yours, shouldn’t you?
      I’ve never worn a mask. I don’t sanitise my hands. I’ve travelled extensively. I’ve worked continously. I’ve been exposed to countless people with Covid, and I’ve never caught it.

      • Londonsteve says:

        I seem rather proud, the implication being that people that observed the rules and found that Covid made a major impact on their lives are morons and need to develop bigger cojones to dodge the rules?

    • Edwin says:

      They don’t want to give out a tiny bit of “freedom” to help the elderly and vulnerable, who are other people’s family members. Simple like that.

    • Ben says:

      Scotland, the same place that kept masks and social distancing when England dropped all restrictions?

      Surely the fact Scotland is performing worse shows those restrictions had little impact?

  • Bob Downe says:

    Going back on the tube and trains and seeing people without masks makes me think of going to an orgy without wearing a condom. It’s all about risk management. Nothing is 100% effective unless you never go out and never meet people. And if you are going to meet people that are vulnerable, then you hopefully will be doing all you can not to catch and transmit anything to them.

    • Chris says:

      You’re right it is about risk management. Right now there’s next to no risk from Covid, even for the old and frail.

  • Norsksaint says:

    As Rob rightly mentions, first last year, and now since February travelling Domestically or between Norway, Sweden and Denmark you no longer wear a mask. It seems somewhat ridiculous that I can travel from my home in Norway, all the way to Copenhagen airport and then I have to put a mask on once we land.

    TBH its each to their own, even with the mask mandate removed, some people choose still to wear it. If it makes them feel safer whats the harm. Asia has operated like this for years, and it doesn’t appear to have resulted in mudslinging and name calling as it does here!

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