LONDON – easyJet announced on Wednesday, March 23 that it would be removing the requirement for passengers to wear masks while traveling on their flights from Sunday, March 27. As the current scope of the world has changed during the COVID-19 period high numbers of vaccinations and less mutation of the virus have seen the restrictions on travel and other items almost completely removed to levels before COVID.
The low-cost carrier is not the first to make this move, the announcement has come in the same month several other airlines have relaxed their mask rules, with TUI, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Jet2 all announcing that they were dropping the requirement to wear masks while onboard, Heathrow airport has also dropped this rule during passengers times at the airport.
When it comes to flights that operate to countries that still mandate masks while traveling, however, easyJet said that it would continue to enforce mask-wearing on those flights, most notably would be domestic UK flights to Scotland where masks on public transport are still a requirement, the same as with flights between the UK and Gibraltar, Iceland, Hungry and Denmark.
In a statement, easyJet said: “As a pan-European airline operating between over 30 countries, we must continue to ensure that we and our customers follow the legal requirements of all the countries we fly to.
“This means when flying to or from countries where mask requirements remain in place, we will follow the relevant legal requirements.
“We urge European governments to have a coordinated approach on the removal of the requirement where possible, to make it easy and clear for customers. We will aim to provide clear information to customers, including while onboard, detailing the specific mask requirements on their flight.”
No Change in stance from Competitor Airlines
Despite the now ever-increasing list of airlines removing their requirements to not wear masks during the flight, Ryanair and Aer Lingus will still continue to enforce the rule of mask-wearing on all their services, but with the ever-shrinking list of travel requirements and covid-19 regulations, it would not be crazy to assume that these airlines will also soon follow other companies and remove mask requirements in the near future.
The removal of maks on flights is not just a format being used in the UK and Europe, it is also now being heavily pushed around the world, with major airline CEOs in America writing a letter to the President of the United States Joe Biden, asking him to now also remove the mandate to wear masks while traveling.
Some European carriers are expecting to see growth in their first year with no travel restrictions since the start of 2020, with carriers like Volotea even forecasting the possibility of carrying 2-2.5 million passengers more this year than during their record year in 2019.