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Most countries started relaxing Covid-19 protocols a while back. It’s now spreading to major and local airlines that travel to domestic and international destinations. For the last two or more years, most people have had to wear masks on public transportation. No one could tell if there would come a time when things would go back to normal.
However, some airlines have removed mandatory masks on their flights. You only wear them if you want and not because you are obliged. American airlines are yet to remove the mask mandate because the TSA extended it by another month, which ends in April.
The scrapping of masks on flights shows how eager the travel industry wants to put the pandemic behind. Normality is slowly returning based on the relaxed policies. If you are traveling by any of these airlines, you won’t have to worry if you are covering your face or not.
British Airways is now the biggest airliner to remove the mask mandate in March 2022. The face-covering requirement was removed in England and Wales, so they had to update their face mask policy. But for the international airlines flying worldwide, customers may still require to put on masks to comply with local restrictions.
If you are arriving in England, you can stay without a mask. But if your destination requires everyone to cover their face, you will have no choice. A couple of airlines ditched the masks before them, but British Airlines is the recent major player to do it.
People can walk without masks on flights and in several airports in England. It’s a choice now and not a requirement by the airline. People who felt a bit oppressed by the policy may find this news very pleasing.
Tui is also a British airliner that no longer asks customers to wear masks on their flights. Flights going to and from Northern Ireland and England travelers can get by mask-free. If you are traveling to the US or Italy, you must wear a mask for the whole flight because of rules within these countries.
You will also need a mask to travel to and from Scotland. It depends on your destination; ensure you carry a mask if you are going outside England.
Despite Tui getting rid of masks, they still strongly recommend that customers wear them. Most of these policies are not coming because the pandemic is over but rather from the reduced cases and pressure from the travel industry.
That is why airlines like Tui still urge people to wear masks even if it’s not necessary. They were among the first to fly travelers without the mask mandate before other airlines followed suit.
Virgin Atlantic is also one of Britain’s biggest airlines. They also ditched the mask mandate in March 2022. British Airlines let go of the mask requirement all at once. But Virgin Atlantic says they want to ease into it gradually. They started with specific flights; you should check their updates when traveling to know whether you require a mask or not.
If you are flying to Barbados, Grenada, The Bahamas, St Lucia, Jamaica, Antigua, or Trinidad and Tobago, you can choose to wear a face-covering or not. Other flights to and from Hong Kong, Delhi, Johannesburg, and the US still require customers to wear a mask at all times.
Jet2 was the first British carrier to let go of the mask requirements. Passengers to and from England and North Ireland no longer require masks on their flights. But when you get overseas, you may still need to cover your face based on the local laws.
Jet2 still recommends masks as a personal choice instead. One thing is for sure, these mask mandate reforms have been a breath of fresh air for most England travelers. Jet2 is a major player that handles hundreds if not thousands of passengers.
As you can realize, most airlines that don’t require mandatory in-flight masks are British-based. That is because most countries still require passengers to wear their masks when traveling. But maybe more airlines will follow the Jet2 trend after a while.
The Dutch government eliminated the mandate to cover your face on public transportation on March 23. But they still required passengers to wear masks in airports and on planes. But that didn’t stop the Dutch airline KLM from announcing that they would not be enforcing the mask policy on their flights.
Their decision is not in line with the government. They said they were disappointed that the government was still considering face masks during boarding and the entire flight. Despite the mask being abandoned everywhere in the Netherlands, the government still enforces the policy.
If you are traveling with KLM, you have a decision to make on whether to wear a mask or not. But you should pay attention to the destination you are traveling to and their policies regarding mask-wearing.
EasyJet has also joined other British airlines in getting rid of masks on flights. This includes flights between the UK and Denmark, Iceland, Hungary, and most UK domestic flights. They will keep offering more mask-free destinations depending on how the countries drop their mask mandates.
Recently, there have been countries that are letting go of mask requirements, whether during travel or when going through your day. This will slowly spill over to the airports, and in no time, EasyJet and other airlines will be completely mask-free.
However, you shouldn’t keep your fingers crossed. Check the destinations while booking a flight to avoid getting in trouble when you land in another country. But if you are using EasyJet for domestic UK flights, you don’t have much to worry about.
Icelandair also made masks optional for their passengers. They did it weeks after Iceland lifted covid-19 travel restrictions. Now passengers who want can travel without covering their faces. But as usual, this doesn’t apply to all flights.
Destinations in mask-wearing countries will force you to wear a mask during your flight in Icelandair. For example, carry your mask if you are traveling to Paris, Germany, USA, Canada, or Zurich. If more countries keep relaxing their travel rules, people will be able to travel all over without masks.
The idea of wearing a mask at all times and especially when traveling, seemed like it was a permanent thing. As it turns out, many places allow you to fly without wearing a mask. Now major British airlines are adopting mask-free policies. The decision will be yours on whether you want to cover your face or not.