EU removes face mask mandate recommendation for air travel
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are no longer recommending the mandatory use of face masks on plans and at airports to its member states.
Despite the obligation to wear a mask coming to an end on May 16, they point out that masks are «one of the best ways of preventing transmission» of the virus and do recommend that it continue to be used by vulnerable passengers. It is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene, it [wearing masks] is one of the best methods of reducing transmission
Although the EU may recommend Covid-related entry requirements for its member states, it is ultimately up to the individual countries that determine their own.
Ryanair has advised passengers that face masks will be still be required on flights to and from certain countries, despite an EU directive change.
Masks are not mandatory in Irish airports and on flights but are stongly recommended. However, in Italy for example, travellers must wear a high-grade FFP2 mask in airports and while boarding flights.
In April 2022, Spain updated its rules, meaning non-EU nationals can now enter using a recovery certificate, as well as a vaccination certificate. As such, all passengers arriving by air (except those in international transit and children under 12), regardless of the country of origin, must have one of the following two documents:
- an EU Digital Covid Certificate (or equivalent certificate recognized by the EU). This can be in the form of a vaccination certificate, negative test certificate or recovery certificate. You can check if your certificate is valid on the Spain Travel Health website or SpTH app. A full list of the third (non-EU) countries whose certificates are recognized by the EU as equivalent to the EU Digital Covid Certificate is available here.
- a Spain Travel Health QR code. Anyone who does not have an EU Digital Covid Certificate (or equivalent certificate recognized by the EU) must enter the details of their vaccination, recovery or diagnostic test certificate via the Spain Travel Health website or SpTH app in order to generate a SpTH QR code.