Norwegian becomes latest airline to drop masks on all flights

Apr 4, 2022

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Norwegian has become the latest airline to stop making passengers wear masks on flights.

From today (4 April), people flying on the Scandinavian carrier can choose whether to cover their faces or not, although the European airline does advise that all passengers should check local requirements and guidance at their destination ahead of travelling — including any stops or connecting flights. Noting that “it is the responsibility of the passenger to comply with local regulations and restrictions.”

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It follows the decisions of a growing number of airlines to ditch mask-wearing rules on flights in recent weeks, including easyJet, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Tui, KLM and Jet2.

But it also coincides with the emergence of the COVID-19 sub-variant, BA2, which health bodies believe is more transmissible than omicron and appears to be running rampant through Europe right now.

In Britain, for instance, COVID-19 cases have hit a record high with about 1 in 13 people estimated to be infected with the virus in the past week.

This weekend saw easyJet and British Airways — who both lifted their mask-wearing rules within the last several weeks — cancel hundreds of flights due to staff sickness, with the disruptions continuing into Monday.

Related: Travel is back but are UK airports actually ready?

Nevertheless, Norwegian believes now is the time to free the face on flights.

“For the first time since June 17th 2020, the mandatory requirement of wearing a face mask will be lifted on every flight across the Norwegian network as a result of revised guidance across Europe,” the airlines said. “As countries reduce or completely remove travel restrictions, thanks to extensive vaccination programmes, passengers will now be able to choose if they wish to wear a face mask or not.

“As of February 12th, when the requirements were first lifted across Scandinavia, the company has noticed increased passenger demand and optimism in regards to booking ahead for both leisure and business travel.

“The company is confident that travel will recover and thrive during the summer months ahead.”

Related: 10 tips for flying long-haul with budget carrier Norwegian

Featured image by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images.

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