Ryanair has confirmed face masks will no longer be mandatory on flights to several EU countries.
The new rules will be in place from Monday (16 May) meaning passengers will no longer be required to wear face masks on flights and in airports.
Here we take a look at the destinations where passengers will still have to wear face masks and why they are no longer necessary on some flights.
What did Ryanair say?
Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said: "We welcome this rule relaxation from EASA and the ECDC effective from Monday, 16th May next. From that date, face masks will be optional on all Ryanair flights except those flights to/from the 15 EU States where masks remain mandatory on public transport.
We expect these States to relax their face mask rules over the coming days in line with these new health guidelines from EASA and the ECDC. Intending passengers can check the latest EU face mask regulations on the Re-Open EU website.”
Are there any countries where face masks are mandatory?
There are still 15 countries on Ryanair's schedule requiring face masks, including some holiday hotspots. These countries are:
Are face masks being encouraged?
Although face masks will no longer be necessary on some flights, authorities are encouraging passengers to wear them as a precautionary measure.
EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said: “From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport.
"For passengers and aircrews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby."
Why are face masks no longer necessary on some flights?
On 11 May 2022, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommended the face mask mandate onboard flights should no longer be required onboard flights to EU countries from 16 May 2022.
They said they are taking into account 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.
Along with the mandate mask change, its recommendations also include a relaxation of the more strict measures, which will help relieve the burden on the industry whilst still keeping appropriate measures in place.
A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com