Frustration grows in Germany over new FFP2 mask law on planes

There is growing dissatisfaction in Germany with the new law on FFP2 masks on aircraft

The decision by the German Federal Cabinet to extend and even tighten the current rules requiring passengers to wear face masks on planes caused a clear misunderstanding of the German Airline Representatives Council. BARIG today brings together more than 100 national and international airlines. According to the new document, passengers on board an aircraft that either departs or lands in Germany will be required to wear FFP2 masks.

BARIG General Secretary Michael Hoppe said: “The plan of the German federal government is not clear, there is no epidemiological basis for such a move. We are asking the Federal Parliament and the Federal Council to reconsider this decision.

In most other countries, masks on board are not mandatory, they are simply recommended. In any case, an ordinary medical mask is enough, as was the case in Germany until now.

For several months now, masks have been no longer required at German airports. Therefore, it seems completely inconsistent that passengers are required to wear an FFP2 mask as soon as they board an aircraft to or from Germany. As a consequence, Germany will be placed at a distinct disadvantage in the air travel market due to such unnecessarily strict regulation.

In addition, the risk of infection on aircraft has been proven to be very low. This is largely facilitated by highly efficient HEPA filters and regular air exchange in the cabin. Just in May 2022, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) already issued a clear recommendation to abandon the mandatory wearing of masks on airplanes. 

And the last moment. The obligation to wear FFP2 masks can hardly be properly communicated to international travelers, as they have been exempted from such requirements for quite some time. “Passengers should be given the opportunity to choose whether they want to wear an FFP2 or a medical mask for their own protection during the flight.”

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