Following new guidance from the EU to drop certain Covid-19 restrictions, many airlines across Europe are dropping their mask mandates, joining the UK and USA.

France is one such country to drop requirements for airplane passengers to wear masks, but 13 countries still require them, including Portugal, Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Italy still requires passengers to wear protective FFP2 masks on public transport until 15 June.

But the new guidance comes with cautionary advice; European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) director Andrea Ammon says that while mask-wearing is no longer mandatory, “together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission”.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required,” the ECDC said.

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