The mask mandate is dropping

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) lifted the requirement to wear masks in airports and onboard planes.

As a result, from 16 May 2022, the European Union abolished the mandatory face mask requirement on flights and at airports.

“For passengers and aircrews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky.

Will I have to wear a mask on my flight?

While the recommendations have been updaed, this is a nonbinding decision, so different airlines and countries are still imposing their own regulations. The rule of thumb is that if the country of departure or arrival require people to wear face coverings, then passengers will need to wear a mask on board. 

Which EU countries have scrapped the mask mandate?

These countries are entirely free of masks:

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands (except airports)
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Beyond the EU, the following countries are also mask free: Aruba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Maldives and the USA.

Who still requires masks?

Travellers to Austria, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Malta, Estonia, Luxembourg, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Italy, Latvia, and Spain, regardless of travelling internationally or domestically, remain subject to wearing a face mask while reaching these destinations.

Is it still safe to fly?

The EASA document ( informed the data on the pandemic. The guidelines consider the natural and acquired immunity and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in several European countries.

As requirements change quickly, we recommend that you speak to a consultant for the latest information if you are planning a trip to any of these destinations.