Ryanair and easyJet to continue face mask requirement despite rule change

5 July 2021, 20:36 | Updated: 5 July 2021, 20:56

Passengers on a Ryanair flight
Passengers on a Ryanair flight. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Several airlines will continue to require passengers to wear face masks despite the Government dropping the legal requirement to do so.

Ryanair said it will not change its current policy, while it is understood easyJet is also not planning to ease its rules.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced face coverings will no longer be legally required in England after the final step of lockdown easing, due to take place on July 19.

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A spokeswoman for Ryanair said face coverings "will still be mandatory across all Ryanair flights, regardless of the departing/destination country".

She added that this is in line with guidance from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

It is understood easyJet has no plans to make any changes to its requirement for passengers to wear face coverings, but is keeping the policy under review.

A spokeswoman said the airline is guided by its in-house medical adviser and a number of key bodies such as the World Health Organisation, Easa and ECDC.

She added: "At present their guidance around the wearing of masks onboard remains unchanged."

Meanwhile, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has said operators will "support people who wish to continue wearing" face coverings.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is considering possibly instructing people using the capital's public transport network to consider wearing masks.

"The wearing of face coverings on public transport helps to reduce the spread of Covid, and crucially gives Londoners confidence to travel on the network, which is vital to our economic recovery," he said.

"Further discussions are now planned with Transport for London, the Department for Transport and other transport providers before we decide our next steps."

The Unite trade union, representing tens of thousands of public transport workers, said it would be "an act of gross negligence by the Government" to end the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport in two weeks.