Bare-Faced Flyers: European Airlines Dropping Mask Mandates on Flights

A stewardess walks by aboard the first flight from the Syrian capital Damascus to Aleppo&#
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Jet2 announced on Wednesday the end of mask requirements for English passengers on their flights as Ryanair committed to ending their mask mandate in the near future.

British airline Jet2 has updated its coronavirus guidelines and axed its rules for mandatory mask-wearing on flights that take off from England and Northern Ireland, highlighting it is “no longer a legal requirement” to wear them.

Passengers will however be required to wear a mask before leaving the plane if the country they are travelling to has mask requirements in place, and Jet2 have said that they continue to recommend that passengers “continue to wear a face mask”.

A man wearing a mask stands at the international arrivals gate at Heathrow Terminal 5 on November 28, 2021 in London, England. (Hollie Adams/Getty)

Shortly after this announcement, Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, has said that he also wishes to see the end of face-covering requirements on his planes by the end of April, the Daily Mail reports.

Ryanair’s CEO admitted masks would “probably be here to stay” until at least after Easter, but did however provide passengers with the hope policies would “come to an end maybe by the end of April, at the end of May”.

“We are consulting with cabin crew as well at the moment. We want to know how they feel. The key issue for us is that people are comfortable to go back onboard our aircraft”, O’Leary continued.

Travellers will be relieved to see this change after they were warned in early February by experts and airline sources that masks could be mandatory on airlines for years to come, similar to continued outdated security policies such as restricted liquid allowances in hand luggage.

The move by Jet2 to remove masks appears to have broken away from previous airline policy where The Times reported in January that British airlines were committed to “act as one” in regards to onboard coronavirus restrictions.

The other British airlines – EasyJet, British Airways (BA), Virgin Atlantic and domestic airline Loganair – have all maintained masks will be required on their services indefinitely.

All U.S. airlines still require masks to be worn throughout journeys, with strict enforcement measures in place across different companies. In one instance where a female passenger refused to wear a face-covering during an American Airlines flight to London, the pilot turned the plane around while it was flying over the Atlantic Ocean and landed back in Miami.

President Joe Biden implemented mandatory federal fines for passengers who refuse to wear a mask on U.S. flights – $500 for first-time offenders, which increases up to $3000 for those who refuse a second time.

There are currently no British government-mandated legal requirements for mask-wearing in the United Kingdom, with England removing all mask requirements in January, however, Scotland’s devolved government has maintained mask requirements for the Scottish people.

The Daily Mail however has reported most masks, unless they are surgical or N95 ones, are ineffective at preventing the spread of the virus and may have actually contributed to the virus’ spread due to people incorrectly assuming they were protected.



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