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Jet2 is first UK airline to drop mask rule on flights

Customers travelling from Scotland must still wear a face cpvering

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 02 March 2022 10:30 GMT
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A Jet2 aircraft
A Jet2 aircraft (Getty images)

Jet2 has removed the requirement to wear a mask on its flights from and to England and Northern Ireland.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “It is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask in England and Northern Ireland, including at our airports or onboard our aircraft.

“However, as per UK government guidance, we recommend that customers continue to wear a face mask in these spaces, and we remind customers that they will need to wear one when they get to their overseas destination.

“Customers travelling from Scotland must still wear a face mask.”

The rule also applies to its English and Northern Irish airports. The carrier’s face mask policy has been updated on its website.

In Scotland, Jet2 passengers aged six and over will still need to wear masks in airports and on flights, with the carrier advising those who are exempt that they must contact its Special Assistance team in advance and provide proof of medical exemption.

The amended rules came in on 1 March, following the government’s removal of many Covid-19 health restrictions in England during February.

Manchester Airport has also relaxed its rules around masks, with website advice saying it “strongly recommends” the wearing of face coverings in all parts of the airport, including on airport buses, rather than requiring it.

It remains to be seen whether other airlines operating from the UK will adjust their policies. Many have routes to countries where masks are strictly required on entry, and may see it as simpler to insists on their use from the point of departure.

Most still have a firm policy in place. British Airways’ “What to expect onboard” section advises: “We require you to wear a face mask at all times. As a guide they last up to four hours, so bring enough for the duration of your trip.”

Virgin Atlantic’s inflight advice reads: “Masks: We will require you to wear yours at all times on the plane. If everyone gets onboard with this idea, we’ll all be safer.”

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has said he expects masks to be mandatory on flights until at least the end of March.

EasyJet still insists that passengers six and over wear a face mask, clarifying that it no longer allows scarves, face visors or masks with valves. Those who are medically exempt need to fill in a web form and sign a declaration before travel.

Tui is more relaxed on age, insisting on masks only for passengers aged 12 and above - however, it does ask that passengers change their mask every four hours, and has also banned scarves, face shields and masks with valves.

In the US, one of the biggest flight attendants’ unions last week said it expected the country-wide mask mandate - which demands flyers wear masks at all airports and on all flights into, out of and within the country - would be extended past the end date of 18 March.

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