In the past few days, many European countries like Spain, France and Belgium have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases. All European countries are currently working hard to prevent a resurgence of coronavirus.
During a videoconference held on Thursday, July 23rd, EU Transport Ministers have reached an agreement on health measures and common hygiene standards to stop the spread of coronavirus. The new regulations concern all airplanes flying over the continent.
German Minister Andreas Scheuer, who chaired the meeting, declared that face masks will be mandatory from the age of six on all European flights. “I am pleased that the German proposal was accepted by my colleagues and that we could agree on these standards,” said Scheuer.
Other measures adopted during the conference include the obligation to improve passenger information; the frequent disinfection of the aircrafts; and the enforcement of safety distances in all airports during the check-in and security checks, even if this causes long queues. Information must be available in multiple languages and a high fresh-air quota in planes must be guaranteed. However, it is not necessary to keep the middle seat free in the planes.
These joint regulations meet at least some of the demands made by airlines, which complained about the confusion caused by varying standards.
The wearing of face masks on airplanes was already made compulsory by most airlines; however, children have often been exempted.
Masks are mandatory also in many airports of the EU. For instance, the French government decided to made face coverings compulsory in all indoor public spaces for everybody above the age of 11.
Airlines have warned passengers they will be refused to enter the aircrafts if they do not comply to the new strict rules.
To ensure full safety, airline easyJet advices its passengers to replace the mask every four hours. The following statement can be found on easyJet website: “Protective face masks should typically be replaced every four hours, or if they become wet or soiled, so please ensure that you have an adequate supply for you and anyone else travelling with you for the entire duration of your journey.”