Different countries have different rules when it comes to face coverings, with airlines also enforcing face masks in different ways, so make sure you know what to do Portrait of a Latin American woman traveling by plane wearing a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic
People flying on holiday from the UK should know when and where to put on a face covering.
While coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in the UK, other countries have yet to take action to stop the spread of the disease, including hotspots like Spain, Italy, Malta and more.
In most cases, that’s because face masks are still mandatory on public transport — and the same goes for planes flying to these destinations.
While the EU has announced it will end its face mask mandate on flights starting today, a number of countries are yet to fully ease their restrictions.
In fact, the Spanish health minister confirmed that face mask requirements on Spanish flights would remain in place for the time being.
Germany, Greece and Italy are also among the European holiday hotspots where mask requirements are observed, 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 mask requirement on planes, trains and buses.
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Meanwhile, in the US, the federal mask mandate was lifted in April, meaning face coverings are now optional on all flights out of and within the country.
The following nations require passengers boarding to dress up:
Egypt, Algeria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, 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, Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands and UAE.
However, the list of nations and their various coronavirus restrictions are constantly changing due to the nature of the pandemic, so you should always check the latest travel advice from the Federal Foreign Office and the destination country’s own guidance to find out what you should and shouldn’t be.
Meanwhile, airlines like TUI, Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair and others have different rules on face masks, as well as the proof that may be required from passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering in the aircraft cabin for medical reasons.
A full list of the different airlines and their respective rules can be found here.
Face covering rules have changed quite a bit, and perhaps unexpectedly, in the past few weeks.
Earlier this year, Ryanair’s Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan predicted that masks would be a feature on board flights for years to come, just as removing liquids from carry-on luggage at security is a typical part of the airport experience.
“Masks will be with us for a while,” he said.
“If that’s the price we have to pay for the next few months into the summer – it’s a small price.”
However, Ryanair has since said that a face covering is not required to be worn on flights to EU countries that do not have specific mandates.
“We welcome this relaxation of rules by EASA and ECDC, effective Monday 16 April th May next. From this date, face masks will be optional on all Ryanair flights, with the exception of flights to/from the 14 EU countries, where masks will remain mandatory on public transport,” said Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson.