From tomorrow (19 July), in line with government guidance and international requirements, passengers will still be required to wear a face mask at UK airports and onboard aircraft.

Airports and airlines 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 are 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 that “Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as public transport.”  Globally, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommends the use of masks for air travel.

This reflects the fact that airports and aircraft are by nature areas where social distancing is not always possible. Furthermore, 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 reflects the current epidemiological situation in the UK and internationally and the industry will be reviewed as the health situation evolves.