The end of the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be in sight. While it is true we should not be letting our guard down, countries around the world are re-opening their borders and dropping almost, if not all the Covid-19 restrictions.
For destinations where we have established that the wearing of a face covering is not mandated, you are able to make a personal choice and we kindly request everyone respects each other’s preferences.British Airways
Considering face masks are no longer mandatory everywhere, airlines have decided to allow passengers to make their own choice regarding the wearing of face covering. The requirement is still there between destinations where mask regulations have not been removed yet, but for the rest of the flights, travellers can decide for themselves.
1. British Airways
British Airways now allows travellers to not wear a face mask if it is not mandatory in the destination they are flying to. However, for flights headed to destinations where the airline could not “clarify the local restrictions”, the wearing of face masks is still required. The airline asks its customers to keep in mind that wearing a mask is still a personal choice and to respect the other travellers’ decision.
From 27 March 2022, on flights where masks are no longer legally required at both ends of the route, easyJet stopped mandating customers and crew to wear masks onboard the flight. Anyone wishing to continue wearing a mask will of course have their personal choice respected.
A few weeks after Iceland lifted all the Covid-19 travel restrictions, Icelandair also decided to remove the mandatory face mask policy on most of its routes. Masks are still mandatory on flights to and from Canada, the U.S., Germany, Paris and Zurich, but optional on all other European flights, as well as flights within Iceland and to and from Greenland.
Jet2 was the first airline to make the wearing of face masks optional. Passengers travelling in England or Northern Ireland are no longer required to wear masks, however, passengers travelling in Scotland are still required to wear face covering.
Although the Netherlands has removed all face masks requirement on 23 March, including in public transport, it still asks travellers to wear their masks in airports and on airplanes. Despite this, KLM has said it does not intend to keep asking passengers to cover their face, telling RTL News that it was “disappointing that the use of face masks during boarding and during the entire flight is still being considered by the Dutch government, while this has been abandoned everywhere in the Netherlands.”
Norwegian announced that the temporary requirement to wear face masks on board all flights was lifted on 4 April. The airline says that “As countries reduce or completely remove travel restrictions, thanks to extensive vaccination programmes, passengers will now be able to choose if they wish to wear a face mask or not”.
SAS has removed the mandatory face mask policy on flights within Scandinavia. For all other flights however, the wearing of masks is still mandatory for all passengers over 6 years old. For flights that require a mask, homemade masks and cloth masks are not accepted.
TUI has dropped the wearing of face masks for almost all its routes. The exceptions are passengers 12 and older if they are flying to or from Wales or Scotland, passengers 2 and older if they are traveling to the U.S. and passengers 6 and older if they are traveling to Italy.
9. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic removed its mandatory face mask policy on 16 March. As for the other airlines, in respect with some destination’s Covid-19 restrictions, masks must still be worn on the airline’s flights to or from the U.S., as well as for passengers 12 and older on flights to and from Delhi, Islamabad, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lahore, Lagos, Mumbai, Shanghai and Tel Aviv.