The updated EASA Aviation Security Protocol, published May 11, calls for the abolition of the mandatory mask regime in those countries where the rules have already been relaxed for other modes of transport. This is possible and absolutely safe with the current high level of vaccination, achieved natural immunity and the abolition of internal restrictions in many European countries. The updated guidance also recognizes the need to move from “as in an emergency” to to planned and thoughtful ways to combat COVID-19.
Masks are still required in some regions. This creates a lot of challenges for airlines and passengers when they operate flights between destinations with different requirements.
“We believe that it is not right to oblige tourists to wear masks on board, especially when masks are no longer required in other areas of daily life, such as theaters, offices or public transport.
We welcome EASA's recommendation to relax the mask regime in the air, this is another important step towards the return of air passengers to normal life. Travelers can expect to have the freedom to choose whether or not to wear a mask. And they can travel with confidence knowing that modern aircraft have high frequency air exchange and high efficiency filters. This makes air transport one of the safest, — IATA CEO Willie Walsh assured.
"Although the new edition of the European protocol comes into force next week, there is no single global approach to wearing masks on board aircraft. Airlines must comply with the rules applicable to the routes they operate. The aircraft crew will know which rules apply and it is very important that passengers follow their instructions. We ask all travelers to respect the decision of others to voluntarily wear masks, even if it is not a requirement,” — Walsh concluded.