European regulators have taken new steps to ease anti-covid measures for air tourists. Thus, as part of the new rules, the mandatory requirement to wear a protective mask during flights to European countries will be canceled from May 16. However, airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights. Such recommendations have been published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
“From next week, face masks should no longer be mandatory on all air travel, broadly in line with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Key.
According to he said the recent decision is a big step forward in normalizing air travel for both travelers and aircrew. However, he emphasized that passengers must behave responsibly and also respect the choices of others around them. And passengers who are coughing and sneezing must wear a mask “to reassure those sitting nearby.”
In this regard, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said that the development and continuous updating of the Aviation Safety Protocol in light of the COVID-19 situation has led to a better understanding of the risk of transmission of infection and new strains. “While the risks remain, we are seeing that non-drug interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to start returning to normal,” she said.
A month earlier, other European countries set out to lift most of the restrictions imposed in response to the threat of coronavirus and its new strains in order to facilitate the travel process and help the tourism and aviation sectors, in particular, repair the damage caused by entry bans. So far, three airlines in Europe have lifted the requirement to wear a protective mask. These are EasyJet, Jet2, Norwegian and British Airways. Recently, several US airlines also announced that they are ending the mandatory requirement to wear a face mask.
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