Further corona restrictions have been lifted in European travel. According to a decision by the EU authorities, wearing a mask on planes and in airports has no longer been compulsory since Monday. However, it is still recommended.
In addition, if masks are compulsory on local public transport at the departure or destination, the obligation to wear the mask on the plane remains the same.
In Germany, the nationwide mask requirement on airplanes and long-distance trains is set out in the Infection Protection Act until September 23rd. Masks are also compulsory in local transport with buses and trains, which are stipulated by the respective federal states.
Accordingly, for flights to and from Germany, even with the entry into force of relaxed EU recommendations, the mask requirement to protect against corona infections will continue to apply from Monday. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, this affects all machines that take off or land in Germany.
FFP2 or medical masks must be worn during boarding and disembarking and throughout the flight. You can only lose it by eating and drinking. Children under the age of six are exempt from the obligation.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) had spoken out in favor of an end to the mask requirement on planes, trains and buses, which the transport industry is also demanding. Wissing explained that after the EU decision against the continuation of a general mask requirement in air traffic, there was an “urgent need for adjustment” in Germany.
“We should take a uniform approach here across Europe and lift the mask requirement, especially in air travel,” he said. He also spoke out in favor of lifting the mask requirement in local transport.
The German aviation industry is also in favor of abolishing the mask requirement. According to Lufthansa, highly efficient filters constantly clean the cabin air in the aircraft: “It is time to rely on voluntariness, as is now the norm in other areas of daily life”.
However, the federal government is not planning to abolish it for the time being. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) explained that with the number of cases still being very high, “there is no scope to do without masks on public transport”.
In general, the current EU decision does not mean that masks are no longer mandatory on all flights. Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair has published a list of 15 EU countries in which national laws still require the wearing of face masks to prevent corona.
In addition to Germany, important tourism destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy are also included.
In Austria, all corona-related entry restrictions have been abolished. To the delight of the important tourism industry in the Alpine republic, since Monday 3G proof of a corona vaccination, surviving Covid 19 disease or a negative corona test is no longer necessary for entry.