… from Monday
Diário de Notícias on the mainland reports that the rules regarding masks will continue to vary by airline, despite the end of the mandatory recommendation by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported today that, as of next Monday, they will no longer recommend mandatory masks at European airports and flights.
In a joint statement released today regarding air travel in the European Union (EU) at a time of lifting restrictions related to Covid-19, EASA and the ECDC indicate that they will “remove the recommendation for the mandatory use of medical masks at airports and on board flights”, while remembering that “a face mask remains one of the best protections against the transmission” of SARS-CoV-2, namely for the most vulnerable people.
“The update of the Joint Protocol on Aviation Health Safety takes into account the latest developments of the pandemic, in particular, the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity and the lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries”, justify these EU agencies.
At stake are new recommendations for air travel in the EU on the use of face masks, which should come into force from next Monday.
Even so, the rules regarding masks will continue to vary by airline beyond that date, so these European agencies point out that, on flights to or from a destination where the use of masks is still necessary on public transport, it must continue. to encourage the use of masks , in line with the recommendations.
Vulnerable passengers must also continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, defended EASA and the ECDC, specifying that, in these cases, an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask must be used, “which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask”.
Cited by the press release, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky points out that “from next week, face masks will no longer be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly in line with the new requirements of the national authorities across Europe on public transport”.
“For air passengers and crews, this is a big step forward in the normalization of air travel”, says Patrick Ky, but urging passengers to behave “responsibly and respect the choices of others around them”.
ECDC Director Andrea Ammon notes that “although the risks remain, […] non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines [restrictive measures] have allowed lives to begin to return to normal”, hence it is no longer mandatory use of a mask in air travel in the EU is recommended.
Still, Andrea Ammon points out that it is “important to keep in mind that, along with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, [wearing a mask] is one of the best methods to reduce transmission”.
The guidelines released today also include an “easing of stricter measures on air operations, which will help to ease the burden on the industry, while keeping appropriate measures in place,” the EU agencies said.
Thanks to PeterA for the link
COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post