Traveling through Europe is getting less restrictive. The decrease in coronavirus cases is causing the European Union to drop a major requirement.
The European Union says it will no longer require masks at airports and on planes starting next week throughout its 27-country bloc. The lifting of the mask mandate is in response to lowering COVID-19 cases throughout the EU, but officials say each member can decide for itself to reinstate the mask mandate should COVID-19 cases spike.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency worked in conjunction with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to make the decision to lift masks. The agencies say this decision is “a big step forward in the normalization of air travel.” Agency officials do ask, however, that passengers take precautions if they are feeling ill by wearing a face mask. It also encourages passengers to respect the decisions of other passengers should they decide to continue to wear masks.
In a joint statement, the agencies go on to say the new guidelines “takes account of the latest developments in the pandemic, in particular the levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity, and the accompanying lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries.”
A number of EU countries are already dropping coronavirus-related travel restrictions. In April, the Czech Republic ended its vaccination requirement to enter the country. It also dropped curfews and crowd restrictions. Earlier this month, Greece dropped all of its restrictions in an effort to boost summer tourism. Additionally, Spain ended its isolation requirements for anyone contracting COVID-19 while traveling within the country.
Of course, all travel requirements are fluid based on the current coronavirus numbers and trends, so it’s best to check with your airline and your destination country before any international travel.
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