EU raises demand for air masks when pandemic stops Business news

BERLIN (AP) – The European Union will no longer require the wearing of masks at airports and planes from next week due to the easing of coronavirus restrictions across the bloc, authorities said on Wednesday.

The European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency said it hoped the joint decision with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control would be a “major step forward in normalizing air travel” for passengers and crew.

The new guideline “takes into account the latest developments in the pandemic, in particular vaccination rates and naturally acquired immunity, and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries,” the two agencies said in a joint statement.

“However, passengers should behave responsibly and respect the decisions of others around them,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “And a traveler who coughs and sneezes should think hard about wearing a face mask to soothe those sitting nearby.”

Although the new recommendations take effect on May 16, the rules for masks after that date may still differ depending on the airline if they fly to or from destinations where the rules are different.

Political cartoons about world leaders

Political cartoons

Andrea Ammon, director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said handwashing and social distancing should still be implemented, but airport operators are advised not to impose distancing requirements if this could lead to a bottleneck.

The agencies also recommended that airlines keep passenger locator information collection systems on standby if they need them in the future, for example if a new dangerous version emerges.

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