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You (probably) won’t need to wear a mask when flying to an EU country from Monday

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The European Union Aviation & Safety Agency has published new guidance today recommending that EU members remove requirements for face masks on aircraft from next Monday.

You can see the full report here.

The move is designed to be “a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel”.

Face masks not required on European flights

The guidance, according to an official statement, “takes account of the latest developments in the pandemic, in particular the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity, and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries”.

It isn’t totally straightforward, however. For countries where mask wearing is required on public transport or in airports – which is the case in much of Europe – airlines are strongly recommended to enforce a mask requirement on aircraft too.

Where airlines do choose to enforce masks, they have been told to ensure that only FFP2 or equivalent surgical grade masks are accepted.

All testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers will also be dropped from Monday, although I’m not sure which EU countries still have these.

You can find out more here.

Comments (27)

  • Bob says:

    President Macron of France (like Trump said in the past) has decided that also in France For Monday. I just read that.

    No more mask in bus, trains, planes…

    I though he has taken himself that decision but obviously that’s an European one. How funny!

    • Joe says:

      I am sat 100m from the French border in Switzerland. They’ve been gone here for all reasons for ages.

      • HH says:

        Sure, but every time I’ve taken trains into France or Germany from Basel I’m told to wear them as soon as we approach the border. Even when I’m the only person in the carriage…

    • Enda says:

      ECDC doesn’t dictate mask wearing. It’s a national decision.

  • riku says:

    The ECDC has no jurisdiction over member states in the EU. They only offer recommendations/guidelines (as their release says).
    So EU countries are free to impose/keep mask mandates despite this announcement. And EU countries might have lifted the requirement long before today (Helsinki airport removed the requirement weeks ago for example).

    • His Holyness says:

      Yes, it’s subsidiarity, Germany, Austria and Italy could continue the marvellous mask

      • JanM says:

        In Rome at the moment. Italy stopped mask wearing in offices, etc. for three days before bringing them back. The domestic requirement is meant to last until 30 June. I can’t see them following suit any time soon.

        • fede says:

          it sound odd to me they brought it back..

          The use of FFP2 masks remains mandatory in the following locations:
          airplanes
          ships and ferries used for interregional transport services
          High Speed, Intercity, Intercity Night, and Interregional Trains
          buses connecting more than two regions
          buses/coaches used for chartered services with driver
          local and regional public transport
          indoor performances in theatres, cinemas, concert halls, entertainment venues and live music
          indoor sports events
          However, the use of the mask in all indoor environments and in all cases of crowded outdoor events is highly recommended.
          Please note that nonetheless, in all situations, the following people are excluded from the requirement to wear masks:
          children under the age of six
          persons with a medical condition or disability that is incompatible with the use of a mask, and persons who must communicate with a disabled person
          individuals who are engaging in athletic activities
          the above apply till 15 june or so

  • Neil says:

    I think Greece and one or two others (Cyprus?) are picking off random people to do testing on arrival..is that banned too?

    • riku says:

      EU countries can do what they like. Even within a country different parts of the country can have different rules. Germany famously had different covid rules in different states. I live in Finland and Helsinki airport technically follows the covid rules of Vantaa (city where the airport is located). Vantaa is actually deciding test on arrival rules for Helsinki airport. The Finnish ministry of health does not decide. The ECDC does not decide.
      The headline of this story assumes the ECDC guidance is a rule applied to all parts of the EU. That is not the case. The headline is wrong.

      • Rui N. says:

        This. Last year the EU itself (not the ECDC) even told countries that they couldn’t impose testing on top of asking for the digital certificate. Lots of countries duly ignored the EU and imposed testing on top of asking for the digital certificate.

    • lumma says:

      Greece is still very much pro mask, I’m in Athens right now and I’m shocked by how strict they are after experiencing back home and other European countries recently.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    French Polynesia is my biggest concern – they want masks worn while aboard transport, which includes cruise ships.

    A week to go before cancellation fees kick in for my August break!

  • Mike says:

    I am so glad BREXIT freedom has enabled the UK to make its own decisions.

  • Chris D says:

    Why does the image show particles being measured from directly in front of the mask, when people sit side-by-side?

    I would suggest that the possibility that masks project aerosols to the left and right — worsening spread in contexts where people sit side by side — is a significant and understated one.

    • Tangerine says:

      How do you know in front was the only test performed? Perhaps multiple tests with different positions were done?

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Anyone else find that image disturbing?

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