EU announces easing: mask requirement for air travel ends

Status: 05/11/2022 3:27 p.m.

Ahead of the big wave of summer travel, the EU is easing its regulations for air passengers. From Monday, wearing a mask in airports and on planes will no longer be necessary. Lufthansa wants to wait until this is implemented in German law.

The competent EU authorities have started to relax their corona measures for air traffic. Among other things, the recommendation to wear medical masks at airports and on board planes will no longer apply from Monday, as announced by the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA and the European health authority ECDC.

For passengers and crew, this is a big step towards normalizing air traffic, said EASA boss Patrick Ky. At the same time, authorities stressed that the port of a mouth and nose protector remains one of the best protective measures against the transmission of the corona virus.

National rules take precedence

However, national regulations still apply to the implementation of the EU recommendation: In Germany, these stipulate that masks must be worn on airplanes. Lufthansa is also tracking this, a spokeswoman said. According to this, the masks of the machines of the air group could only fall off if the German infection protection law was also adapted accordingly. States such as Italy or France and other EU countries have already lifted the corresponding corona measures.

Vaccinations and low number of cases as reasons

The reason for the EU easing recommendations are the latest developments in the pandemic. These include the number of vaccinations, the immunity created by infections and the associated lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries. Italy, France and other countries have already lifted the corresponding corona measures. In Germany, the mask is still compulsory in public transport.

However, air travelers should continue to behave responsibly and respect the decisions of others around them, Ky said. Anyone who coughs or sneezes should seriously consider wearing a mask. The mask requirement may apply beyond May 16 on airlines or flights to destinations where other corona rules are still in effect.

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