BA and Virgin join growing list of European airlines asking passengers to wear face masks

Jun 4, 2020

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Airlines are looking to resume flying in the not-too-distant future. Some have even laid out their plans for a return to service. And as such, many have chosen to implement rules that require passengers to wear personal protective equipment to slow — or stop — the spread of the coronavirus.

As of 3 June, British Airways has jumped on the wagon of asking passengers to wear face masks on board aircraft. As one of the longest holdouts of enforcing the policy, BA announced in a series of videos that passengers should wear a face mask at the airport and on their flight.

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British Airways – Looking Forward To Welcoming You Back On Board

When the world opens up once more, we’re ready to welcome you back on board. You’ll see new protective measures at every step of the journey whenever you fly with us. Find out about how to prepare for your next flight at ba.com/welcomeonboard.

Posted by British Airways on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

As of 4 June, Virgin has done the same. The airline is requiring passenger wear masks on board, where crew will be doing the same. While passengers aren’t required to wear masks in the airport, Virgin crew are, and passengers are encouraged to do so. Each passenger will get a Health Pack at their seat, which includes a face mask.

Other European airlines have taken to requiring passengers to wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth. In some cases, airlines are even saying that they will deny boarding to passengers who aren’t wearing a face mask.

Related: Will a face mask keep you safe from viruses on a plane?

Note that while this guide focuses on European carriers, airlines around the world have also implemented measures for flying in the post-coronavirus world. For example, Canada now requires that everyone wears masks, some U.S. airlines have implemented face mask policies, and Emirates, for example, has done the same. Before you fly, it’s worth checking if your airline requires a face mask before heading to the airport.

Senior woman and adult son wearing face mask at airport in fear of coronavirus and travel ban and international trips cancellations for disease control and prevention of COVID-19 outbreak pandemic. (Photo by sam thomas/Getty Images)
(Photo by sam thomas/Getty Images)

Here are the European airlines that require a face mask be worn at this time.

In This Post

Aer Lingus

The Irish carrier said that all cabin crew are now required to wear face masks, as well as for passengers. The airline said that face coverings can be “reusable cloth masks or disposable masks”.

It recommends that passengers wear the masks upon entering the airport through to when you leave your destination airport. For the duration of the flight, it will be required. Children who are not able to maintain a face covering are exempt.

For more information on Aer Lingus’ onboard policies, click here.

Air France

As of 11 May, Air France requires that passengers wear masks on board its aircraft. The airline recommends bringing “several masks for your travel comfort”. The requirement follows the French government’s instruction that everyone is required to wear face masks on public transport.

Air France requires that passengers wear a “surgical mask”.

Additionally, Air France announced earlier in May that it would begin checking the temperatures of all passengers on departing flights. Passengers who have a high temperature may be denied boarding and their reservation may be changed to a later date with no extra charges.

For more information on Air France’s onboard policies, click here.

Alitalia

While the Italian carrier recommends that passengers wear a mask when at the airport, it requires passengers to wear a face mask on board its aircraft. Alitalia says that protective masks are mandatory for flights. If you don’t have one, Alitalia says that it will provide you one for free, courtesy of the Italian Civil Protection Department.

For more information on Alitalia’s onboard policies, click here.

Austrian

In late April, the Lufthansa Group announced that all of its group airlines would require passengers to wear face masks — including Austrian Airlines. As of 4 May, all passengers are required to wear mouth-nose cover on Austrian flights. The Group also recommends that passengers wear the mouth-nose cover throughout their entire journey.

Passengers are requested to bring their own mouth and nose cover, and the airline recommends a reusable fabric mask. However, simple disposable masks or scarves are also acceptable. All flight attendants are also required to wear masks.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on Lufthansa Group’s onboard policies, click here.

British Airways

The U.K.’s flag carrier is now asking passengers to wear a face mask at all times. The airline says that as a guide, one face mask lasts for four hours, so it’s advising passengers to bring enough for the duration of their journey.

Interestingly, the airline doesn’t appear to be requiring the masks, instead, it’s just a strong recommendation.

For more information on British Airways’ onboard policies, click here.

Brussels Airlines

In late April, the Lufthansa Group announced that all of its group airlines would require passengers to wear face masks — including Brussels Airlines. As of 4 May, all passengers are required to wear mouth-nose cover on Brussels flights. The Group also recommends that passengers wear the mouth-nose cover throughout their entire journey.

Passengers are requested to bring their own mouth and nose cover, and the airline recommends a reusable fabric mask. However, simple disposable masks or scarves are also acceptable. All flight attendants are also required to wear masks.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on Lufthansa Group’s onboard policies, click here.

EasyJet

The low-cost carrier now requires that all passengers and crew wear masks on board at all times. On the carrier’s site, it says that “All flights will be equipped with spare sanitary equipment including masks, gloves and hand sanitiser”. However, the airline is advising passengers to provide their own masks.

For more information on EasyJet’s onboard policies, click here.

Eurowings

In late April, the Lufthansa Group announced that all of its group airlines would require passengers to wear face masks — including Eurowings. As of 4 May, all passengers are required to wear mouth-nose cover on Eurowings flights. The Group also recommends that passengers wear the mouth-nose cover throughout their entire journey.

Passengers are requested to bring their own mouth and nose cover, and the airline recommends a reusable fabric mask. However, simple disposable masks or scarves are also acceptable. All flight attendants are also required to wear masks.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on Lufthansa Group’s onboard policies, click here.

LONDON, May 1, 2020 .A passenger wearing a face mask arrives at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, on May 1, 2020. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Friday that the country has met the goal of 100,000 tests per day as another 739 people with COVID-19 have died, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll to 27,510 in Britain. As of Friday morning, 177,454 people have tested positive for the disease, said Hancock. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua via Getty)

Finnair

As of 18 May, the Finnish carrier is requiring that all passengers cover their mouth and nose. While the carrier isn’t requiring the use of a mask in the airport, it’s recommending that passengers do so. However, once boarding begins, passengers will be required to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose. The mask will need to be on for the duration of the flight.

The carrier is advising passenger to bring their own mask, as boarding can be denied if you’re not wearing one. The mask can be removed while drinking or eating. Crew will wear surgical masks during the flight.

For more information on Finnair’s onboard policies, click here.

Iberia

In accordance with current regulations, Iberia is requiring that passengers wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth when boarding the aircraft and throughout the flight.

The carrier is advising passengers to bring their own mask, as boarding will be denied if you don’t have one.

For more information on Iberia’s onboard policies, click here.

KLM

As of 11 May, KLM requires that all passengers wear a mask on flights. The requirement is valid from boarding through the arrival gate at your destination. The airline warns passengers that without a face mask, you won’t be able to board the plane.

The airline is advising that valid masks should fit snugly around the side of your face and cover the mouth, chin and nose and consist of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric, such as cotton or linen. The mask can be temporarily removed while eating or drinking.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on KLM’s onboard policies, click here.

Lufthansa

In late April, the Lufthansa Group announced that all of its group airlines would require passengers to wear face masks — including Lufthansa. As of 2 June, all passengers are required to wear mouth-nose cover on Lufthansa flights.

Passengers are requested to bring their own mouth and nose cover, and the airline recommends a reusable fabric mask. However, simple disposable masks or scarves are also acceptable. All flight attendants are also required to wear masks.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on Lufthansa’s onboard policies, click here.

Ryanair

Low-cost carrier Ryanair is advising passengers that they must wear a face mask at all times while in the airport and on their flight.

Ryanair crew will also be wearing face masks. In addition, the airline rolled out several other measures to encourage physical distancing, such as requiring that passenger request to use the lavatory in an effort to avoid queuing.

Related: You’ll have to ask permission to use the toilet when Ryanair resumes flights in July

For more information on Ryanair’s onboard policies, click here.

SAS

Effective 18 May, SAS requires that all passengers wear a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth. The face mask is required from boarding to disembarkation on all SAS flights. Passengers are required to bring their own masks, and all travellers that don’t have one will be denied boarding. Children younger than 6 years old are exempt from the requirement.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on SAS’s onboard policies, click here.

Swiss

In late April, the Lufthansa Group announced that all of its group airlines would require passengers to wear face masks — including Swiss. As of 4 May, all passengers are required to wear mouth-nose cover on Swiss flights. The Group also recommends that passengers wear the mouth-nose cover throughout their entire journey.

Passengers are requested to bring their own mouth and nose cover, and the airline recommends a reusable fabric mask. However, simple disposable masks or scarves are also acceptable. All flight attendants are also required to wear masks.

The face mask requirement applies until 31 August 2020.

For more information on Lufthansa Group’s onboard policies, click here.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin announced on 4 June that for all flights, it will require crew and passengers to wear face masks.  At the airport, Virgin is encouraging passengers to wear a mask. Once they board the plane, they will be required to wear face masks.

Not only that, but Virgin is supplying passengers with medical-grade masks. It’s part of the carrier’s Health Pack, which each passenger will get. You can opt to bring your own as well.

For more information on Virgin Atlantic’s onboard policies, click here.

Wizz Air

The low-cost carrier said that it is requiring all passengers and crew to wear face masks. For flights longer than four hours, the airline recommends bringing additional face masks.

For more information on Wizz Air’s onboard policies, click here.

Featured photo Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images.

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