The European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Wednesday that no face masks will have to be worn at airports and on flights in Europe from May 16.
“From next week, there will be no need for face masks to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly in line with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” said Patrick Key, EASA CEO.
Italy, France, Bulgaria and other European countries have eased or ended many or all of their measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Several US airlines said in April that they would no longer require masks, after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the administration’s authorization to place a mask on public transportation was illegal.
Andrea Amon, director of the center, said that although wearing masks will not be mandatory, “it is important to keep in mind that along with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, this is one of the best ways to reduce transmission.”
The agencies said mask-wearing rules are expected to vary after the mandatory requirement is scrapped, as airlines have been asked to encourage passengers to use masks on flights to and from destinations where the wearing of masks is still required.