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If you travel by plane in Europe, do not forget the mask yet

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If you travel by plane in Europe, do not forget the mask, because although as of today the recommendation to make it mandatory at airports and flights in the European Union (EU) is withdrawn, some countries and companies still maintain it as mandatory.

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Each country maintains different rules, but for the most part it depends on whether the mask is still mandatory in the countries of origin and destination: in that case, most airlines will tell the passenger to put it on during the flight.

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Although on May 11 the European Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced the withdrawal as of today of the recommendation that masks be mandatory on flights and airports as part of anticovid measures, the reality is that harmonization does not exist in this matter.

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It may happen that a passenger flies in a company that does not require them to wear it during the journey, but that the countries of origin and destination do consider it. For example, British Airways and Air France have already said that they consider it optional as long as it is not compulsory at the point of destination.

Alitalia said that passengers flying to Italy must continue to use it on Italian planes, with which sources close to the National Civil Aviation Entity (ENAC) already anticipated that “it is easy to imagine that a problem of sovereignty will arise on board the planes that do not have an Italian flag”.

EU countries where the mask is worn on flights and airports

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In Greece, the mask will remain mandatory for the time being in airports and airplanes, as in all interior spaces. The committee of experts that advises the Government has not yet ruled and according to what a spokesman for the Ministry of Health told Efe, its next meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday.

In Austria, the Ministry of Health told Efe that the use of masks will continue to be mandatory on planes and airports after May 16.

In Turkey, the mandatory use of the mask in airports and flights is still maintained, as in the rest of public transport, where compliance with this rule, in any case, is already relaxing.

A special case is that of the Netherlands: it will lift the mandatory use of a mask at airports from May 21, but the Dutch airlines KLM and Transavia had already given up requiring its use from passengers two months ago, against government guidelines, due to fears of attacks on board, given that the mask was no longer mandatory throughout the country.

Mandatory on flights but not at airports

In Portugal, the legislation in force establishes that the use of a mask is mandatory in public transport, including air transport, so it will be maintained on flights to or from the country, the airline TAP confirmed to EFE. But at airports it is not mandatory.

Italy will maintain the mandatory use of the FFP2 mask on planes at least until June 15, when the current regulations on its use in means of transport will no longer be in force. Passengers flying to Italy must continue to use it on Italian planes.

In airports, on the other hand, there is no obligation and, although its use is strongly recommended, especially in the most crowded points, the decision is left in the hands of the airport managers.

In Spain, the decree approved last April establishes that it is mandatory to wear masks in public transport and on flights, although it is not mandatory on platforms or in the airports themselves.

The use of a mask will continue to be mandatory on planes that take off or land in Germany, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health recalled on Friday at an ordinary government press conference. At German airports, however, the use of a mask is no longer mandatory, although it is recommended by the health authorities.

It is not mandatory, but it depends on the destination

In France, masks are no longer mandatory on internal flights and, in principle, also on journeys within the European Union. The Air France company explained that if it is still mandatory in the country of destination to wear a mask on public transport, it will maintain the obligation on its flights also if they are within the European Union.

The Paris airports authority has already notified that the mask is not mandatory within its facilities.

On airlines in the UK and Ireland, it depends on the destination. The legal requirement to wear a mask to avoid contagion in public places and transport was withdrawn in England at the end of January, although airports such as London’s Heathrow continued to recommend that travelers use them in their facilities until March.

The airline British Airways (BA) has already said that from this Monday the face mask will be optional on flights whose country of destination does not require it to be used on planes by law.

EasyJet has announced that it will not require travelers and crew to wear a mask on board when it is not mandatory at the origin or destination of the flight, a policy similar to that announced by Ryanair.

The Belgian company Brussels Airlines stopped forcing passengers to wear the mask on May 3 and since March 7 it is also not necessary at Brussels airports, although its use is still recommended.

Greater permissiveness in Scandinavia

In the Scandinavian countries, which already lifted most restrictions in the first half of February, masks stopped being used in airports and on flights weeks or even months ago.

Finland withdrew the obligation to wear masks at its airports on April 21, although its use is allowed and is even recommended at peak times, when there are a large number of passengers. The use of masks is optional on Finnair airline planes from April 25, unless it is required by the authorities of the country of origin or destination, in which case it is mandatory.

Permissiveness in Eastern Europe

Since March 28, the wearing of masks is not mandatory in any public space in Poland, not even on public transport or planes, with the sole exception of buildings and health facilities.

In Hungary, the international airport of Budapest “Liszt Ferenc” also reported in March that the use of masks was no longer mandatory. Inside the flights, the use depends on each airline.

In Romania, the use of the mask inside airports ceased to be mandatory on March 9, when the “state of emergency” ceased to be in force. As for flights, the mandatory nature of masks depends on the airlines. While some low-cost airlines still require passengers to travel with it, the Romanian national airline, TAROM, does not oblige passengers.

The Government of the Czech Republic lifted on March 14 the mandatory use of the mask in the interior spaces of airports. However, the manager of the Václav Havel International Airport in Prague advises its use. (I)

Source: Eluniverso

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