People jetting off on holidays from the UK should know when and where they need to don a face covering.
While coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in the UK, other countries still have measures in place designed at stopping the disease’s spread including hotspots such as Spain, Italy, Malta and more.
In most cases this is because face masks on public transport are still compulsory – and this extends to planes heading into these destinations.
While the EU said it will scrap its face mask mandate on flights from today, a number of countries aren’t relaxing their restrictions quite yet.
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In fact, Spain’s Health Minister confirmed that face mask requirements would remain in place on Spanish flights for the time being.
Germany, Greece and Italy are also among the European holiday hotspots countries keeping the mask rule, while passengers on flights to Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Luxembourg must also cover their mouths and noses.
France has now lifted the face mask obligation on planes, trains and buses.
Meanwhile, in the US, the federal mask mandate was overturned in April, meaning face coverings are now optional on all flights operating from and within the country.
The following nations require passengers entering them to mask up:
Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, Grenada, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St Kitts, St Lucia, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turks and Caicos and UAE.
SIPA USA/PA Images)
However, the list of nations and their different coronavirus restrictions are constantly changing due to the nature of the pandemic, so you should always check the Foreign Office’s latest travel advice and the destination country’s own guidance to find out what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
Meanwhile, airlines including TUI, Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair and more have different rules around face masks as well, as does the proof which may be required from passengers who are exempt for medical reasons from wearing a face covering while in the plane cabin.
For a full list of different airlines and their respective rules, click here.
Rules around face coverings have changed quite significantly, and perhaps unexpectedly, in recent weeks.
Earlier this year Ryanair’s chief financial officer Neil Sorahan predicted that masks aboard flights would be a feature for years to come, much as removing liquids from hand luggage at security is a typical part of the airport experience.
“Masks will be something that will be with us for a while longer to come,” he said.
“If that is the price we have to pay for the next few months, into summer — it’s a small price to pay.”
However, Ryanair has since said it will not require face covering to be worn on flights to EU countries which don’t have specific mandates.
“We welcome this rule relaxation from EASA and the ECDC effective from Monday, 16 th May next. From that date, face masks will be optional on all Ryanair flights except those flights to/from the 14 EU States where masks remain mandatory on public transport,” Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said.
Will you keep wearing a face mask on flights where it’s not required? Let us know in the comments below.