Ryanair is to start dropping mandatory face mask rules on EU flights from Monday.
It comes after European agencies agreed to drop the recommendation from the Monday.
In a joint statement, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the decision takes account of the latest developments in the pandemic.
The change will not come into force across Europe at the same time – with the agencies advising airlines to keep the restrictions in place when flying to countries that still require masks on public transport.
Ryanair is following that recommendation, meaning passengers will still need masks on flights to Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.
On The Hard Shoulder this evening, Air and Travel Magazine Editor Eoghan Corry said the changes will be introduced in “patchwork” fashion across Europe.
“The real problem is people will be turning up at the airport attempting to board planes without masks between now and Monday and you still require them,” he said.
“You will be denied boarding without a mask and the announcements at airports are that masks are still required at airports.
“Some countries are more lenient than others, but the Irish situation is, you still require a mask to fly and you still require masks in the airport.”
From @Ryanair: masks will continue to be required for flights to Austria, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain after ECAC regulations shange Monday next
— Eoghan Corry (@eoghancorry) May 11, 2022
The agencies are still advising vulnerable passengers to wear masks, while everyone is urged to keep following distancing measures in indoor areas wherever possible.
Passengers are also asked to continue to make “make responsible decisions and respect the choice of other passengers” – including wearing a mask if they are feeling unwell.
You can listen back here: