Lockdown Forever! Forced Masking Continues Despite EU Lifting Lockdown Rules on Flights

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 28: Passengers pictured in the Terminal 1 of the Frankfurt Airport on January 28, 2021 in Frankfurt, Germany. Border police check passengers arriving from Covid-19 risk countries to be sure they can show evidence of a recent COVID-19 test at Frankfurt Airport during the …
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

A host of EU nations have insisted that they will keep forcing plane passengers to wear masks, despite the EU lifting its bloc-wide requirement on Monday.

Although many passengers on intra-EU flights will no longer be forced to wear a mask from Monday, a host of nation-states have insisted that they will keep forcing passengers to mask up despite the relaxation of the lockdown measure.

Germany, Spain, and Italy will all still force those travelling either to or from the country to wear masks on flights, despite many other countries having long since moved on from Chinese Coronavirus-inspired restrictions.

According to a report by Der Spiegel, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency collective lifted mask-wearing rules on Monday.

“The update of the joint Aviation Health Safety Protocol takes account of the latest developments in the pandemic, in particular the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity, and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries,” a joint press release regarding the dropping of the measure read.

“In addition to the changes with respect to masks, its recommendations include a relaxation of the more stringent measures on-air operations, which will help relieve the burden on the industry whilst still keeping appropriate measures in place,” it continued.

However, the new guidance insists that any nation can still require passengers to wear masks on flights both to and from their territory if they so wish, allowing the likes of lockdown loving Germany and Italy to keep forcing people to wear masks for the foreseeable future.

What’s more, this remains the case even if a flight’s origin or destination does not require mask-wearing, with the state with the more stringent rules precedent over those who have already relaxed measures.

Regarding the new relaxation of the air travel lockdown measures, budget airline Ryanair posted a list of 14 nations for which masks will remain mandatory on public transport.

However, it appears that this list posted last week is already out of date, with France deciding to drop its forced mask-wearing measures for all modes of public transport on Monday.

According to a report by Le Monde, the rule represented the last of France’s major lockdown rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, although the country’s Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, has insisted that the pandemic is still not over.

“Covid has not disappeared, but the efforts of all French people are paying off,” the health minister previously wrote in a post on social media regarding the lifting of the measure.

“We know how to behave in the face of the virus and how to protect ourselves from it,” he continued. “This is what allows us next Monday to lift new restrictions.”

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