Although masks are no longer required on domestic flights by the federal government, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restated its recommendation earlier this month that everyone age two and older wear a well-fitted mask on public transportation and in transportation hubs, including on airplanes and in airports.
“When people properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator, they protect themselves and those around them, and help keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone,” the CDC stated.
Although airlines in the U.S. no longer require masks domestically, they are, of course, still optional and recommended. Many people take that recommendation to heart and still wear masks on planes, even for domestic flights, not because they have to but because they want to. Some travelers may not want to risk getting COVID, either due to hesitancy of getting the illness, or concerns about the possibility of long COVID. Others are aware they could have the virus and not know it, and don’t want to be “that person” who spreads it to others, especially in such close quarters.
Anyway, although you don’t “have” to wear a mask on U.S. airlines, there are plenty of airlines outside the U.S. that still make it mandatory. It could be under the umbrella of an airline’s country’s rules (these are some countries that no longer require masks, but many more countries still do), or an airline’s “head honcho” who thinks masks are safer than no masks, and it’s simply the right thing to do.
Here are some airlines that still require masks on at least some of their flights:
- Aer Lingus requires masks between Ireland and Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. They’re optional on flights within Ireland and to and from the U.K., the U.S., and some countries in Europe, including France and Greece.
- Aeromexico requires mask usage on all its flights.
- Air Canada requires masks for all travelers are 6+ (kids over age 2 but under age 6 who can’t tolerate wearing a mask are exempt)
- Air New Zealand requires face masks on all its flights.
- ANA and all other flights to/from/within Japan continues to require masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Austria require masks.
- Cathay Pacific requires masks
- All airlines in China require passengers to wear medical surgical, KN95 or N95 masks.
- Copa Airlines requires face masks on all flights
- All domestic flights to/from Cyprus require masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Czech Republic require masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Estonia require masks.
- EVA Air and any other flights to/from/within Taiwan continues to require masks for all passengers over the age of 6 on all of its flights.
- All domestic flights to/from Germany require masks for all passengers age 6+.
- Iberia requires masks on all flights.
- Icelandair requires masks on flights to/from Canada, Germany and Italy. They are otherwise optional on flights to/from Europe, Greenland and the U.S.
- All domestic flights within India require their passengers to wear masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Italy require FFP2 masks.
- LATAM requires all its passengers age 12+ to wear a mask
- All domestic flights to/from Latvia require masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Lithuania require masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Luxembourg require masks.
- Malaysian Airlines still requires its passengers to wear masks
- All domestic flights to/from Malta require masks.
- Pakistan International Airlines continues to require its passengers to mask up.
- Philippine Airlines still requires all passengers to mask up.
- All domestic flights to/from Portugal require masks.
- Qantas requires face masks on all its flights.
- Qatar Airways requires all passengers to wear a face mask while on the plane
- Royal Jordanian still requires face masks.
- SAS only requires masks on its flights to/from China.
- Singapore Airlines requires all passengers age 6+ to wear a mask, except when eating or drinking.
- All domestic flights to/from South Korea require masks.
- All domestic flights to/from Spain require masks.
- South African Airways requires passengers to wear a mask that covers their noses and mouths.
- TAP Air Portugal and any other flights to/from/within Portugal continues to require masks for all passengers over the age of 6 on all of its flights.
- All domestic flights to/from Thailand require masks.
- Turkish Airlines requires either surgical masks or FFP masks (without valves) on all its flights.
- All domestic flights to/from Vietnam require masks.
There are several airlines that recommend wearing masks but no longer require them. However masks could still be required depending upon the rules of the departure and/or destination country. Some examples of these are:
- Air France
- British Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
- All U.S. international carriers (depending upon your destination. If you’re traveling from Dallas to Düsseldorf on Delta, or Jacksonville to Jordan on Jet Blue, you still have to wear a mask)
For the most part, any given airline’s rules for mask use coincide with the mask rules for the country where the respective airline is registered. However, the rules for individual flights will vary, depending upon their place of departure and landing. Check with your airline if you’re not sure.
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