Ryanair issues major policy change as mask wearing dropped from next month

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The change will come into force in April after Michael O’Leary predicted a “strong recovery” as he announced 14 new routes from UK airports including Naples, Madeira and Stockholm.

Ryanair’s announcement comes after Jet2 became the first airline in the UK to drop the requirement.

Other carriers like easyJet, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, however, said masks would remain mandatory.

Michael O’Leary said: “We are pleased to announce 14 new routes from our three London airports, Stansted, Luton and Gatwick.

“As all COVID-19 travel restrictions have now been lifted, UK citizens and visitors can book a well-deserved summer getaway to exciting destinations such as Helsinki, Madeira and Naples.

“Ryanair is driving London’s post-Covid recovery as we grow across Europe, with new aircraft and new routes.”

A Jet2 spokesman announced: “It is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask in England and Northern Ireland, including at our airports or on board our aircraft.

“However, as per UK Government guidance, we recommend that customers continue to wear a face mask in these spaces, and we remind customers that they will need to wear one when they get to their overseas destination.”

However, Jet2 passengers aged six and over still have to wear masks on flights from Scotland and Wales.

British Airways said: “We have no immediate plans to change our mask policy, but keep our policies under review and continue to take advice and guidance from all the appropriate authorities.

“In addition, a number of the airports and destinations we operate between have requirements or legal mandates in place for the wearing of masks and there are significant implications for customers who do not comply.

“We therefore have a consistent mask policy on board and in the terminal to protect travellers, avoid customer confusion and ensure everybody is prepared for their journey.”

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TUI said: “Our mask policy is currently under review and will hope to be able to update in the coming days.”

Boris Johnson ditched all Covid regulations last month, including mask wearing no longer mandatory on public transport anywhere in England. 

Most airlines, however, said it will still be “a condition of carriage”.

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