Airline Mask Mandate: Which International Airlines Have Dropped the Requirement?

Many international airlines began dropping their mask requirements even before the U.S. -- here's where some major carriers stand now

Florida Judge Overturns CDC's Travel Mask Mandate
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Following their country's respective health and safety guidelines, several international airlines have made changes to their masking policies, letting travelers choose whether they wear one on certain flights.

In the U.S., the masking requirement on public transportation — which encompasses buses, trains, airplanes and transportation facilities — was voided by a federal judge's decision April 18.



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So while most airlines in the U.S. for now will no longer require a mask, whether or not you'll need to wear one on an international flight depends on their individual policies.

Here is a list of airlines that have altered their mask mandates so far:

British Airways

The airline allows customers to fly without masks if the destination they’re traveling to doesn’t require them. 

"For destinations where we have established that the wearing of a face covering is not mandated, you are able to make a personal choice, and we kindly request everyone respects each other's preferences," the airline said in its guidance.

More information is available here


Mandatory face masks are not required on flights across the Norwegian network, meaning passengers can choose whether they wear one on board. 

The airline notes that the use of face masks may still be required at various destinations and suggests checking policies before traveling. 

More information is available here


Jet2 was the first airline to remove its mask requirements. Travelers no longer have to wear face coverings at the British carrier’s domestic airports or flights.  

Travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will need to continue wearing masks depart planes at destinations where they are required. More information is available here

Virgin Atlantic 

The airline no longer requires face masks for passengers on routes where the destination and departure location of the plane does not require them locally, including the United States and the Caribbean.

Other routes still will require face coverings, as guidelines differ for each destination. This list is expected to expand as regulatory requirements for destinations change, according to the airline’s website. 

As of April 19, for the following routes operating to or from the UK, masks are still required for customers aged 12 and above until further notice: Delhi, Islamabad, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lahore, Lagos, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tel Aviv.

More information is available here


On flights to or from England, Wales or Northern Ireland, the British airline said it’s no longer necessary to wear masks, but recommends bringing them. 

Passengers ages 2 and older must wear face coverings if they’re traveling to the U.S. More information is available here


All flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland and Poland no longer require face coverings. 

Given differing policies for each destination, masks are necessary for all other flights. More information is available here

Airlines are often updating their mask requirements based on local guidance at their origin and destination locations. It is best to always check with your individual airline before heading to the airport.

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