EU to make face masks compulsory on all European flights for passengers aged 6 and over

Children 6 and over and all adults will have to wear face masks on all European flights after EU transport ministers agreed new security measures to battle the spread of coronavirus.

EU to make face masks compulsory on all European flights for passengers aged 6 and over
Photo: AFP

The EU Transport Ministers reached agreement on various health measures to be imposed on board aircraft flying over the continent, as well as at airports.

Ministers agreed that the wearing of masks will be obligatory for anyone aged over six.

Other measures agreed by ministers during a video-conference included obligations for airlines to disinfect aircraft more often and to enforce safe distances, even if this results in long queues at airports.

Most airlines already make it mandatory for passengers to wear face masks while boarding planes and whilst on board the aircraft, but children have often been exempt.

Masks are also compulsory in many airports including in France, which made the coverings obligatory in all public indoor spaces for anyone aged over 11.

Airlines issue strict rules on wearing masks and warn passengers they will be refused entry to planes if they do not comply.

To ensure full safety whilst wearing a mask, airline easyJet says masks should be replaced every four hours.

A statement on the website said: “Protective face masks should typically be replaced every four hours, or if they become wet or soiled, so please ensure that you have an adequate supply for you and anyone else travelling with you for the entire duration of your journey.”

European countries are battling to prevent a resurgence of coronavirus cases with countries like Spain, France and Belgium all seeing a rise in cases in recent days.

Switzerland, while not a member of the EU, has had a compulsory mask requirement on all flights since early July. 





Member comments

  1. I was expecting my temper to be checked when I flew from Limoges to East Midlands on the 2nd July. This didn’t happen at both ends, My husband just flew from Limoges to Manchester and he had no temperature checks either, My contact details were scrutinized but husband was waved on. Any particular reason why security were so lapse?

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France faces more protests as pension strikes see planes and trains cancelled

Trains and planes are cancelled and a fresh wave of demos are planned for the weekend as fury grows in France over the decision of Emmanuel Macron's government to push through controversial pension reform without a parliamentary vote.

France faces more protests as pension strikes see planes and trains cancelled

Several unions have announced strike extensions including rail workers and air traffic controllers, leading to places and trains being cancelled over the weekend and on Monday.

The French civil aviation authority has ordered that 30 percent of flights in and out of Paris Orly airport and 20 percent of flights in and out of Marseille airport be cancelled on Monday as air traffic controllers extend their strike. 

Weekend flights have also seen cancellations. Other airports should be unaffected by cancellations, but there may be knock-on effects and delays for airline passengers, while flights travelling over French airspace may be re-routed. Anyone who has a flight booked is advised to check with their airline.

Details of any cancellations for flights on Tuesday and Wednesday will be released on Monday, while Thursday, March 23rd, marks the next one-day mass strike, so disruption is likely.

Rail workers have also announced an extension of their strike, so train services will again be disrupted over the weekend – 4 in 5 of the normal high-speed TGV services will run, 3 in 5 Intercité services and 3 in 5 of the normal services on the local TER network.

Trains will likely be disrupted during the one-day strike on Thursday, March 23rd, but some unions are calling to continue rolling strikes, so it’s likely that the rail network will see at least some disruption through the week.

Public transport in cities including Paris is running largely as normal over the weekend, with a slightly reduced service on the RER suburban train network.

Demonstrations are planned for towns and cities across France on Saturday – these are expected to be large with the possibility of trouble flaring towards the end of the demos (from around 5pm).

Smaller spontaneous demonstrations were held in multiple cities on Thursday and Friday after the announcement that the pension reform bill was being pushed through without a parliamentary vote – around 300 arrests were made in total and in some areas protesters set fire to street furniture and vandalised public buildings.

In pictures: Barricades set on fire as pension reform protests turn violent