EU authorities are relaxing the recommendation to wear masks on planes
Cologne/Berlin The responsible EU authorities are relaxing their recommendations for corona protection in air traffic. Among other things, as of this Monday, a general recommendation to wear medical masks in airports and airplanes will no longer apply, as the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA and the EU health authority ECDC announced on Wednesday.
If there is a government obligation to wear masks on public transport at the point of departure or at the destination, this should also continue to apply on board the aircraft, according to the recommendation. In Germany For the time being, the general obligation to wear masks on the plane will remain. However, the aviation industry is now demanding its abolition.
When asked in Berlin, the Federal Ministry of Health explained that the national authorities decide on the obligation to wear masks. It therefore continues to apply to all domestic German routes and flights that take off or land in Germany.
According to this, FFP2 or medical masks must be worn when boarding and disembarking and throughout the flight. You can only lose it by eating and drinking. Children under the age of six are exempt from the obligation.
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The nationwide mask requirement on airplanes – and also on long-distance trains – is initially stipulated in the Infection Protection Act until September 23rd. Masks are also compulsory in local public transport with buses and trains, which the federal states are ordering.
The reason for the easing is the latest developments in the pandemic
In France, the mask requirement on public transport ends early next week, as Health Minister Olivier Véran said. Nevertheless, it is recommended to wear a mask. The health situation has improved, but the pandemic is not over. Regarding air travel to a country where masks are still compulsory, Véran said that the airlines are responsible.
The head of the European Aviation Safety Agency, Patrick Ky, said that from next week masks would no longer be mandatory in all cases. For passengers and crews, this is a big step towards normalizing air traffic. At the same time, the two EU authorities emphasized that wearing a face mask is still one of the best corona protection measures.
The reason for the easing is therefore 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.
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Aviation welcomed the new recommendations. The federal government should take this as an opportunity and now lift the mask requirement on board aircraft, said the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry. Other countries have already dropped travel requirements and the obligation to wear a mask.
One LufthansaSpokeswoman said: “It is time to rely on voluntariness, as is now the norm in other areas of daily life, such as in the supermarket or restaurant.” Highly efficient filters constantly cleaned the cabin air in the aircraft.
The International Airline Association (IATA) said mask requirements on board aircraft should end when masks are no longer mandatory in other areas of daily life – such as theatres, offices or public transport.
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