Should I wear a mask on an airplane? Latest rules explained for Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and more
The Easter holidays are fast approaching and many Britons will be embarking on their first holiday abroad since the pandemic began.
With advice on wearing a mask, proof of vaccination status and quarantine rules changing all the time, it can be difficult to keep up.
What are the current rules on wearing a mask at airports and on a flight with UK airlines?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the rules for wearing a mask on UK airlines?
Wearing a mask is compulsory at the airport and on board Ryanair flights.
If you are traveling to, from or within Italy, Austria or Germany, it must be an FFP2 face mask.
Upon arrival at your destination, you must keep your mask on until you have left the airport terminal.
Masks are optional on a small number of Easyjet flights but are mandatory in most cases.
On flights to, from and within Italy, Austria and Germany, all passengers aged six and over must wear an FFP2 mask when travelling.
On flights to, from and within France, passengers aged six and over are required to wear an FFP2 or surgical mask when travelling.
On flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland and Poland do not require a mask to fly.
However, if you are traveling between one of these countries to a destination where masks are mandatory, you will still need to wear the appropriate mask.
On all other Easyjet routes, passengers aged six and over must wear a suitable mask – scarves, visors and valve masks will not be accepted.
Those exempt from wearing a face mask should contact the airline to advise them before flying on any route requiring the wearing of a mask.
You will need to wear a mask when disembarking from the aircraft and at your arrival airport with British Airways if the destination you are flying to requires it.
For most destinations, you will be required to wear a mask on board the flight and in the terminal.
To check if your destination requires a mask to fly, check British Airways’ Covid-19 Travel Center.
Masks are not compulsory at airports or on Jet2 planes in England and Northern Ireland, but Jet2 recommends that travelers continue to wear them.
In Scotland, people aged six and over must wear a mask at Scottish airports and on flights to and from these airports.
If you cannot wear a mask, you must notify the airline in advance and provide proof of exemption in order to travel.
For overseas travel, you will be required to wear a mask when exiting the aircraft, inside the airport and on board Jet2 transfers to and from your accommodation.
Where masks are required, they must be medical-style or form-fitting face masks, and they must comply with the mask mandates of the country you are traveling to.
If you are traveling to or from England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you do not need to wear a mask on TUI flights, but the airline strongly recommends that you do.
If you are flying to or from Scotland, people aged 12 and over must wear a mask during their flight, unless exempt.
If you are flying with one of TUI’s partner airlines, you should check their website for their mask rules.
If you are traveling to the United States, people aged two and over must wear a mask throughout their flight. If you are exempt, you must have proof.
If traveling to Italy, people aged 6 and over must wear an FFP2 mask throughout their flight. If you are medically exempt, you must have proof.
Sunflower-shaped chokers will not be accepted as proof of a medical exemption.
Travel advice for all UK airlines
As the pandemic continues, the rules are likely to change at short notice, so always check the relevant airline’s website before travelling.
FFP2 masks are accepted everywhere, so if in doubt about what type of mask to wear, this is the best option.