These Airlines No Longer Require Masks on Flights
Countries all around the world have started to relax COVID-19-related protocols and ease border restrictions, and many times that includes mask rules.
But while several countries have ditched face coverings altogether, in the United States, the Transportation Security Administration has extended its federal transportation mask mandate through at least April 18, requiring face coverings to be worn on planes, in airports, buses, trains, and on other modes of transportation.
But that isn't the case everywhere. These are the airlines that have eliminated their mask policies.
Current mask policy: British Airways started allowing customers to go without a mask if the destination they are flying to does not require them. The airline also requires masks on flights to destinations where they haven't been able to "clarify the local restrictions."
"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 wrote in its guidance.
Current mask policy: The UK-based airline will eliminate mask requirements on its aircraft on March 27 "on flights where masks are no longer legally required at both ends of the route." For easyJet, that includes most UK domestic flights as well as flights between the UK and Denmark, Gibraltar, Iceland, and Hungary.
Current mask policy: The Iceland-based airline made face masks optional on some flights on March 23, weeks after Iceland lifted all COVID-19-related travel restrictions. Masks are still mandatory on flights to and from Canada, the U.S., Germany, Paris, and Zurich. Masks are optional on all other European flights as well as flights within Iceland and to and from Greenland.
Current mask policy: British airline Jet2 became the first carrier to drop mask requirements in March. Passengers are no longer required to wear masks in England or Northern Ireland, but passengers 6 years and older traveling in Scotland must still wear them.
Current mask policy: The Dutch government eliminated the requirement to wear face masks on public transportation on March 23, but still requires face masks to be worn on airplanes and in airports. However, KLM has vowed to stop enforcing its mask policy, telling local news outlet RTL News it was "disappointing that the use of face masks during boarding and during the entire flight is still being considered by the Dutch government, while this has been abandoned everywhere in the Netherlands."
Current mask policy: As of April 4, mandatory face masks will no longer be required on flights across the Norwegian Network due to new guidance in Europe. As more countries loosen their mask wearing restrictions Norwegian will leave it up to passengers on whether or not they will choose to wear masks while flying. The mask requirement was lifted across Scandinavia on Feb. 12.
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Current mask policy: Swedish airline SAS has dropped mask requirements on domestic flights as well as flights within Scandinavia, but requires them for passengers 6 and older on all other flights. For flights that require a mask, homemade masks, and cloth masks are not accepted.
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Current mask policy: British carrier TUI allows travelers to ditch their masks. But the airline still requires them for travelers 12 and older if they are flying to or from Wales or Scotland. Passengers 2 and older must also wear a face-covering if they are traveling to the U.S., and travelers 6 and older must wear one if they are traveling to Italy.
Current mask policy: Virgin Atlantic changed its mask policy on March 16, allowing customers to choose if they wear a face covering, including on flights to Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Masks must still be worn on the airline's flights to or from the U.S. as well as for passengers 12 and older on flights to and from Delhi, Islamabad, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lahore, Lagos, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.