EU to Remove Mask Mandate Advice for Air Travel

The EU is removing the recommendation that face masks should be mandatory at airports and onboard aircraft as the Covid-19 crisis continues to ease. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issued a joint statement on Wednesday announcing the relaxation of the Aviation Health Safety Protocol on mask-wearing for air travel from May 16.

However, the two agencies noted that wearing a mask is “still one of the best protections against the transmission of Covid-19.” They have also relaxed some of the “more stringent” measures placed on airline operations, which the agencies said would “relieve the burden on the industry whilst still keeping appropriate measures in place.”

EASA executive director Patrick Ky added: “For many passengers and also aircrew members there is a strong desire for masks to no longer be a mandatory part of air travel. We are now at the start of that process.