British Airways row back on scrapping no-mask rule on all flights, instead warning people must still put them on if they are going to 50 destinations
- Airline said masks not compulsory on flights and airport if not required by country
- But now the airline has changed its website to say its needed for 50 destinations
- Among the countries mentioned are Greece, Italy, US and Germany by BA
British Airways have rolled back on scrapping the no-mask rule on all flights, instead warning people they must still put them on if they are going to 50 destinations.
BA customers will only need to wear a face covering on board flights if their destination requires it, the airline said but it has since listed places that include where it is unsure masks are required.
It has now changed its website to say its needed for 50 destinations including Greece, Italy, the US and Germany.
The BA website states: ‘Where we are unsure or have not been able to clarify the local restrictions, we will still require you to wear face coverings and we ask that you continue to carry masks with you for the duration of your journey.’
British Airways have rolled back on scrapping the no-mask rule on all flights, instead warning people they must still put them on if they are going to 50 destinations
London’s Heathrow airport, pictured, does not require face masks
Places you need to wear a mask while flying with BA
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- St Kitts
- St Lucia
- the Netherlands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
- United States
All the above require masks in the terminal, according to BA, apart from France and Switzerland.
And has put Bermuda and Kuwait down for not having masks on board but in the airport.
BA states on its website that as airports in England and Wales no longer require customers to wear a face covering, they still need to ‘ensure’ that customers comply with local restrictions.
And ask passengers to check before flying for the rules on wearing a mask on board flights, when you disembark from the aircraft, and at arrivals in the airport.
‘Where we are unsure or have not been able to clarify the local restrictions, we will still require you to wear face coverings, and we ask that you continue to carry masks with you for the duration of your journey,’ BA said.
‘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.’
Many airlines, including Jet2, TUI and easyJet, have scrapped the mask requirement after Heathrow announced they would not require mandatory face coverings for passengers from March 16.
Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said: ‘Other countries ditched passenger locator forms weeks ago but it is good news the UK Government has now scrapped all travel restrictions for coming to the UK.
‘If we are to compete on a world stage we need to be ‘open for business’ and not ask people to fill in lengthy forms.’
In a statement, Heathrow’s Chief Operating Officer Emma Gilthorpe said earlier this month: ‘We have worked hard to keep our passengers and colleagues safe during the pandemic.
‘We acted quickly to institute face coverings as one of our first lines of defence, and we’re pleased that we’re now able to move away from a mandatory requirement as society learns to live with COVID longer term.
‘While we still recommend wearing them, we can be confident the investments we’ve made in COVID-secure measures – some of which aren’t always visible – combined with the fantastic protection provided by the vaccine will continue to keep people safe while traveling .
‘We’re gearing up for a busy summer travel season, and this change means we can look forward to welcoming our passengers back with a smile as we get them safely away on their journeys.’
The Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association for UK airports, said ‘restriction-free travel is good news for passengers’.
AOA chief executive Karen Dee said: ‘People should feel encouraged to book their long-awaited holidays, trips to see relatives and friends abroad that they haven’t seen for a long time and travel to rekindle business ties with other countries.
‘Recovery is not a given, however, and with the rising cost of living, the rise in fuel prices and the uncertainty following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there remain potentially significant headwinds for UK airports as they seek to attract travelers back.’
The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), a trade union for UK pilots, also said it welcomed the move.
Balpa general secretary Martin Chalk said: ‘The aviation industry has been through the worst crisis it has ever faced yet it will underpin the much-needed economic recovery that global Britain needs.’