The EU has dropped the mask mandate for flights and airports

Even pilots have to wear masks on board. Here, a first officer wears a protective mask while conducting preflight checks inside the cockpit of a passenger plane operated by Wiz Air at Liszt Ferenc Airport in Budapest, Hungary.

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The European Union is ready to drop its mask order for passengers on flights and at airports from Monday following an update of the aviation industry guidelines.

The recommendation to make wearing a medical mask mandatory at airports and on flights is being lifted on May 16, the EU’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said last week, adding that a face mask is still one. The best protection against Kovid-19 infection.

The EASA said in a statement that the updated guidelines take into account recent developments in the epidemic, “especially the level of vaccination and the lifting of restrictions on naturally acquired immunity and a growing number of European countries.”

According to EASA Executive Director Patrick Key, the move is a big step and is consistent with public transport rules across Europe.

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step in normalizing air travel. But passengers should behave responsibly and respect the preferences of others around them. And passengers who are coughing and sneezing should wear face masks, reassuring those sitting nearby.” For. ”

Meanwhile, ECDC Director Andrea Amon said that “although there are risks, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines are beginning to bring our lives back to normal.”

It is expected that the removal of the mask-wearing mandate will be a shot in the aviation and tourism industry in the last two years, as a significant number of people have stopped traveling when there are additional layers of covid from the covid test and vaccination.

Now, many countries have eliminated the need for covid testing for fully vaccinated traveler and passenger locator forms because a significant number of their populations have been fully vaccinated and increased.

Rules may vary by airline

However, individual airlines still need to make recommendations or wear masks on board, EASA said, adding that the rules may be changed by the airline even after Monday.

For example, flights to or from a destination where public transport still requires wearing a mask should be encouraged as recommended. EASA added that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear face masks regardless of the rules, and social distance should be encouraged in the interior area of ​​the airport where possible.

New covid forms continue to emerge and the epidemic has not been officially declared over, with large covid epidemics still emerging in some parts of the world. Health officials have called on governments to be vigilant, insisting that a new covid strain could emerge that is more deadly and dangerous than the last.

“New VOCs [variants of concern] Often different levels of immunity are discovered with the onset and severity of symptoms, “EASA said. Airport staff, crew members and passengers should be especially careful about the recommendations and requirements of the national authorities of the country they are going to, he added.

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