Ryanair and easyJet have announced its plans to continue their mask mandate even once the government lifts the nationwide requirement, as it is expected to do later this month
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Ryanair and easyJet have said face masks will remain compulsory on their flights even once the nationwide mandate lifts.
The budget airlines have announced that face coverings will still be required onboard on all flights.
The statement came ahead of a government press conference this evening in which Boris Johnson is expected to set a date for the end of the mask mandate.
“In order to protect the health of our passengers and crew, the use of face masks will still be mandatory across all Ryanair flights, regardless of the departing/destination country,” a spokeswoman for Europe’s biggest budget airline told the BBC.
EasyJet said in a statement: “At present there are no changes to easyJet’s onboard mask policy and we will continue to keep this under review.
“We continue to be guided by our inhouse medical adviser and a number of key industry governing bodies that airlines follow including the WHO (World Health Organisation), Icao (International Civil Aviation Organisation), Easa (European Union Aviation Safety Agency), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and public health authorities across Europe, and at present their guidance around the wearing of masks onboard remains unchanged.”
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Mr Johnson is expected to announce that on July 19 mask-wearing will become voluntary everywhere apart from hospitals, GPs surgeries and care homes.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has previously suggested that he would stop wearing a face mask as soon as he was permitted to do so.
“I don’t particularly want to wear a mask. I don’t think a lot of people enjoy doing it,” he added.
Last week it was reported that Ryanair has recently enjoyed a surge in bookings after a lean year.
Passenger numbers rose significantly in June, with the easing of travel restrictions and successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme leading holidaymakers to Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Ryanair carried 5.3 million passengers on 38,000 flights last month – the same month it announced its biggest annual loss in 35 years of trading.
In June 2020, Ryanair flew only 400,000 passengers.
Passengers onboard one of the airline’s planes are not kept away from each other with empty seats.
Instead Ryanair has introduced a number of measures to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus.
They include disinfecting the aircraft daily, the installation of air filtration systems and a ban on queuing for the toilet.