Masks Required on Flights to and from Germany Despite Looser EU Rules

Berlin (dpa) – Despite loosened EU restrictions from Monday, passengers flying to and from Germany will still be required to wear masks in flight, according to the interior ministry in Berlin.

FFP2 or medical masks must be worn during boarding and disembarking and throughout the flight.

They may only be removed for eating and drinking. Children under the age of six are exempt from the requirement.

The ministry explained that the mask requirement corresponds to the new EU recommendations.

The aviation security agency EASA and the EU health authority ECDC no longer recommend that masks be worn in airports and on planes as a general rule from Monday.

But if masks are compulsory at the point of departure or the destination, masks need to be worn during the flight.

In Germany the nationwide mask requirement on planes and long-distance trains remains in place until September 23. Masks are also compulsory on local bus and train transport.

German Transport Minister Volker Wissing and the transport industry have called for the mask requirement on planes, trains and buses to be scrapped.

However, the federal government has no plans to abolish the mask requirement for the time being.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) explained that, with the number of coronavirus cases still very high, “there is no scope to do without masks on public transport.”

In general, relaxed EU rules do not mean that masks are no longer required on all flights. Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair has published a list of 15 EU countries in which national laws still require the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

Besides Germany, these include popular tourist destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy.