Despite the UK government’s removal of the legal necessity to wear face masks, aviation travelers will still be compelled to wear them at airports and on flights from Monday.
From 19th July, UK airports and airlines have agreed that the need will remain a condition of carriage.
Face coverings will be required when entering an airport and throughout the duration of the voyage. Children and those with underlying health issues will continue to be exempt.
Passengers who refuse to hide their faces unless they have a medical cause will be denied boarding.
Iata, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association (AOA), and the UK Board of Airline Representatives (BAR-UK) issued a unified statement confirming: “Passengers will be requested to help fellow travellers and airport and airline staff by taking this measure . . Where necessary the requirement will be enforced through denial of boarding.”
They said that the requirement would stay as is “in line with government guidance and international requirements”.
The statement said: “Airports and airlines will continue to take every measure possible to ensure health is protected, including enhanced cleaning and social distancing where possible.
“Face masks will remain an essential element of these measures and will be required for both international and domestic flights.
“This is in line with regulation and guidance in place across the UK and internationally.
“In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales face masks continue to be mandated by the devolved governments.
“In England, UK Government guidance states the ‘government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as public transport’.
“Globally, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommends the use of masks for air travel.
“This reflects the fact that airports and aircraft are areas where social distancing is not always possible.”
The statement further stated: “International travel generally retains additional layers of protection, such as pre-departure Covid testing and restrictions on arrivals from ‘red’ countries to protect public health.
“The need for face masks in air travel will be reviewed as the health situation evolves.”
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