From May 16, off the masks at the airport and on the plane after more than two years and several disputes? Not exactly. And the pandemic teaches that the individual states of the European Union decide on health matters. With a note, the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc) announced that within the Union “they will no longer recommend the use of a mask in airports and board the aircraft starting next week ».
The term “recommendation” is not used casually. These are updated guidelines which – explain the two European agencies – “take into account the evolution of the pandemic, especially as regards immunity obtained through vaccination or injection”. In any case, “passengers are required to behave responsibly and respectfully for the choices of other travelers around them,” recalls Patrick Ky, EASA’s executive director in a note. Above all: “A person who coughs and sneezes should consider wearing a mask, also to reassure those sitting nearby.”
However, this recommendation will not yet be accepted by various European countries, including Italy: as Monica Guerzoni and Fiorenza Sarzanini recalled – precisely because health is an exclusive issue of individual countries – the decree of the Ministry of Health establishes that masks must be worn on the plane. – on national and international flights – until 15 June. Ryanair, the low cost airline that operates the largest number of flights on the continent, has announced that nose and mouth protection devices will be required on board connections to Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy , Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Holland, Portugal, Spain.
These decisions, however, can change at any moment, it will depend on the decisions of individual countries. Iata, the international association of airlines, rejoices even if it is aware of the local specificities. “We believe that the on-board mask requirement should be waived if they are not required in other situations of daily life such as offices, theaters or public transport,” commented Willie Walsh, head of IATA.