Tui Airways relaxes face mask rules for even more UK flights

Mar 29, 2022

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From today Tui Airways will no longer require passengers to wear face masks on flights to and from Wales.

The rule change comes two weeks after the low-cost airline dropped face coverings on journeys to and from England and Northern Ireland.

Tui customers are still expected to cover their noses and mouths on flights from Scotland, however, where local law still requires masks to be worn on public transport.

Related: As airlines ease facemask rules, is air travel COVID-safe? We asked the experts

“Face masks will no longer be a legal requirement on Tui Airways flights to/from England, Northern Ireland and Wales, however in line with UK government and EU Charter guidance, we strongly recommend that you still wear a mask throughout your flight.”

The stance is in line with the U.K. government’s own relaxation of rules and further guidance from the EU.

The airline added: “It’s important to note that you may still be required to wear a mask when leaving the aircraft and once inside the airport at your arrival destination.”

Tui’s “guidance echoes the advice recently given to TPG UK by Dr Julian Tang of the University of Leicester when we spoke to him about COVID-19 safety on flights. Speaking of the risks of infection, Tang said: “While the massive ventilation system on planes is highly efficient, it doesn’t take many viruses to get infected. I would still wear a mask throughout any flight. I’d only take it off for eating.”

The carrier also notes that face coverings are still mandatory for anyone aged 2 or over, flying to the United States. Additionally, passengers aged six and overflying to Italy will be required to wear an FFP2 mask throughout their flight. Both of these rules are in place regardless of the U.K. nation that the flight departs from.

Related: British Airways’ confusing new mask rules explained and why it’s a damp squib

Tui are among a handful of airlines that have thrown caution to the breeze and scrapped masks on flights, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Jet2 and easyJet. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said he hopes to remove mask mandates by late April or early May Meanwhile KLM has also said they will stop enforcing face masks despite the Dutch government still deeming them necessary on flights to and from the Netherlands.

Additional reporting by Matt Blake.

Featured image by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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