"We can finally start easing the measures against the pandemic," explained the director of EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, Patrick Ky. "Even if the risks remain, we have seen that vaccines and distancing allow us to return to normal life," echoed Andrea Ammon, director of ECDC, the European Center for Disease Control.
The two agencies have announced a relaxation of the rules against Covid: masks will no longer be mandatory, but only recommended, on board aircraft and in airports starting from 16 May.
"The rules will however continue to vary from company to company," the two agencies warned in a joint statement. Indeed, that of Easa and Ecdc is only a guideline. "For example, on flights to or from a country where the mask remains mandatory on public transport, passengers will continue to be asked to wear it. Fragile travelers will then have to keep the mask regardless of the rules, preferably an Ffp2".
Today's recommendation, Ky added, is not an absolute go-ahead, but "the beginning of a journey". The director of EASA also dictates a sort of onboard etiquette: "Passengers must continue to follow airline rules, behave responsibly and respect the choices of others. In particular, if a traveler who continues to cough or sneeze , he should wear a mask for the peace of mind of those sitting next to him ".
The decision to relax the measures, Easa and Ecdc explain, arises "from the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity", that is, with the disease. "It goes hand in hand with the elimination of many rules in an ever-increasing number of European countries".