BERLIN, May 16. (DPA/ EP) -
Despite the easing of European Union restrictions from Monday, passengers flying to and from Germany will still be required to wear masks on flights, the German Interior Ministry in Berlin said.
FFP2 or surgical masks must be worn during boarding and disembarking from the plane, and throughout the flight.
Travelers will be allowed to remove their mask to eat and drink. Children under the age of six are exempt from this requirement.
The aviation safety agency EASA and the European Union health authority, ECDC, no longer recommend the use of masks in airports and airplanes as a general rule as of Monday.
But if masks are mandatory in the country of departure or destination, they must be worn during the flight.
In Germany, the obligation to wear a mask on long-distance planes and trains remains in force until September 23. They are also mandatory on public transport by bus and train.
German Transport Minister Volker Wissing and the transport sector have called for the removal of the obligation to wear a mask on planes, trains and buses.
However, the federal government for the moment does not plan to abolish the obligation to wear a mask.
For his part, the German Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach (SPD), explained that, since the number of coronavirus cases remains very high, "it is not possible to do without masks on public transport."
In general, the relaxation of EU rules does not mean that masks are no longer necessary on all flights. Europe's largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, has published a list of 15 EU countries where national law still requires the use of face masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
In addition to Germany, they include European tourist destinations such as Greece, Portugal and Italy.