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European Union drops air travel mask mandate starting next week

The European Union announced Wednesday it will no longer require masks in airports and on planes starting next week.

Published: May 11, 2022 4:19pm

Updated: May 11, 2022 5:53pm

European Union agencies announced Wednesday that the bloc will no longer require masks in airports and on planes starting next week.

The new guidance drops "the recommendation for mandatory wearing of medical masks in airports and on board a flight, while noting that a face mask is still one of the best protections against the transmission of COVID-19," the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control explained in a statement.

The update to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol also includes recommendations to relax the "more stringent measures" in travel, such as not enforcing social distancing when it would "very likely lead to a bottleneck in another location," the EU stated.

The intergovernmental agency recommended vulnerable passengers to use FFP2/N95/KN95 type face masks rather than the standard surgical masks in order to have better protection.

"While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal," European CDC Director Andrea Ammon noted.

The relaxing of rules in Europe comes as the Biden administration plans on appealing a Florida judge's decision to strike down the U.S. transportation mask mandate.

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