Ryanair and British Airways to require masks even after 19 July

·3 min read
Passengers push their luggage on arrival in Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport in London, on June 3, 2021. - Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said it remains
Airlines are standing firm on mask policy. Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP via Getty Images

Major airlines are holding firm on their policy to continue mask wearing on flights, as the UK relaxes its official social distancing and mask guidelines on 19 July. 

British Airways (IAG.L), Ryanair (RYA.L), Wizz Air (WIZZ.L), and Easyjet (EZJ.L) all said they would continue enforcing wearing masks as a requirement for travel. 

Last week, the government said quarantine-free travel is set to resume on 19 July for fully vaccinated passengers returning from amber list countries.

The advice states that arrivals who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK (plus 14 days), or are on a formally approved UK vaccine clinical trial, returning to England from amber list countries will no longer need to quarantine.

Passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel.

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Health secretary Sajid Javid also said on Monday that although legal requirements on face coverings were being lifted, they were "expected and recommended" in crowded indoor areas

The current wave of UK coronavirus infections is not expected to peak before mid-August, and could mean between 1,000 and 2,000 hospital admissions a day, government scientists said.

"While we keep our policies under constant review, the safety of our customers and colleagues is always our priority, and we have no immediate plans to change our mask policy," a BA spokesperson said. "We will continue to take advice and guidance from all the appropriate authorities."

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"Wizz Air confirms that face masks will remain mandatory onboard its aircraft for the full duration of its flights. The safety, health and wellbeing of passengers and crew is the airline’s number one priority,” a spokesperson said. 

"In line with EASA/ECDC guidelines and in order to protect the health of our customers and crew, the use of face masks will still be mandatory across all Ryanair flights, regardless of the departing/destination country," said a Ryanair spokesperson. 

Last week, EasyJet also confirmed that masks would continue to be a requirement. 

EasyJet told the Evening Standard: "At present there are no changes to EasyJet’s onboard mask policy and we will continue to keep this under review."

“We continue to be guided by our inhouse medical adviser and a number of key industry governing bodies that airlines follow including the WHO (World Health Organisation), Icao (International Civil Aviation Organisation), Easa (European Union Aviation Safety Agency), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and public health authorities across Europe, and at present their guidance around the wearing of masks onboard remains unchanged.”

Yahoo Finance UK contacted EasyJet and Heathrow Airport for confirmation of any updates to policy. 

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