airline mask mandate

Airline Mask Mandate: Which Ones Have Dropped the Requirement and Where?

While U.S. masking requirements persist, some international airlines have started amending theirs

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Following their country's respective health and safety guidelines, several international airlines have made changes to their masking policies, letting travelers choose whether they wear one on certain flights.

In the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration extended its masking requirement on public transportation — which encompasses buses, trains, airplanes and transportation facilities — through April 18. It remains unclear if that mandate will extended once again as that deadline approaches.

So while flights in the U.S. will continue requiring masks, whether or not you'll need to wear one on an international flight, however, depends.

Here is a list of airlines that have altered their mask mandates so far:

British Airways

The airline allows customers to fly without masks if the destination they’re traveling to doesn’t require them. 

"For destinations where we have established that the wearing of a face covering is not mandated, you are able to make a personal choice, and we kindly request everyone respects each other's preferences," the airline said in its guidance.

More information is available here

Norwegian 

Mandatory face masks are not required on flights across the Norwegian network, meaning passengers can choose whether they wear one on board. 

The airline notes that the use of face masks may still be required at various destinations and suggests checking policies before traveling. 

More information is available here

Jet2

Jet2 was the first airline to remove its mask requirements. Travelers no longer have to wear face coverings at the British carrier’s domestic airports or flights.  

Travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will need to continue wearing masks for overseas destinations. More information is available here

Virgin Atlantic 

Those traveling on Virgin Atlantic services to Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago have the option to wear face masks. 

Other routes still will require face coverings, as guidelines differ for each destination. This list is expected to expand as regulatory requirements for destinations change, according to the airline’s website. 

“This policy is being introduced gradually – both for customers and crew – and only on routes where international regulations around mask-wearing do not apply ... ” the airline said in its announcement. “We encourage everyone to be respectful of fellow passengers’ mask preferences, with masks still available for those wishing to wear them.” 

More information is available here

Tui 

On flights to or from England, Wales or Northern Ireland, the British airline said it’s no longer necessary to wear masks, but recommends bringing them. 

Passengers ages 2 and older must wear face coverings if they’re traveling to the U.S. More information is available here

easyJet

All flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland and Poland no longer require face coverings. 

Given differing policies for each destination, masks are necessary for all other flights. More information is available here

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