European organizations: face masks advice on planes off the table

From Monday onwards, face masks no longer need to be worn on planes. The European RIVM (ECDC) and the European Aviation Authority (EASA) no longer recommend this. Next evening, Minister Kuipers of Health informed the House of Representatives in a letter to the House of Representatives that, according to the RIVM, a mask obligation in the aircraft may expire.

According to ECDC and EASA, the easing can be implemented because the majority of Europeans have been vaccinated or cured of the coronavirus. According to the RIVM, the obligation of the face mask now has no added value anymore.

Because the recommendation is not binding, airlines may deviate from it and continue to recommend face masks. Anyone who flies to a destination where a face mask requirement still applies in public transport, would be well advised to also wear a cap in the plane, ECDC and EASA say.

Advice to vulnerable groups

ECDC and EASA also recommend wearing a mask when sneezing and coughing constantly. RIVM also advises travelers who belong to a vulnerable group to wear a medical mouth nose mask or an FFP-2 mask for their own protection. That is similar to the advice in public transport.

In the Netherlands, the obligation to face mask has not been maintained by airlines in recent months.