Current Flights: Masks On or Off? [UK Airlines’ Policies]
UK airlines are constantly making changes to their policies and upgrading safety measures, following the government’s guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic is still not over.
Rules differ between airlines but the general ones are wearing masks on flights and at the airport and practicing social distancing.
Here is an overview of the main UK airports and airlines’ latest policies:
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At Gatwick Airport, it is compulsory for passengers to wear a face covering.
However, children under the age of 11, or those who have difficulties managing it correctly, are not obliged to wear one.
Passengers who are aged 11 or above are required to wear face masks at all times in Heathrow's terminals. Alternatives are face coverings such as scarves and bandanas.
It is better to bring your own but if you forget, there will be some masks available at the airport.
British Airways requires passengers to wear face coverings at all times.
It is recommended that you bring more than one face mask. Get enough masks to last you until the end of your trip, as one mask usually protects you only up to 4 hours.
Flight crews will offer you a personal protection pack on board, which contains an antibacterial wipe and hand sanitiser gel so you can easily wash your hands.
According to easyJet’s new policy, all passengers, including children aged 6 or above, have to wear masks during the whole flight. The only exception is people with a medical exemption letter.
Masks should normally be replaced every 4 hours, so passengers need to bring enough additional flight masks with them depending on the duration of their journey.
You will have to wear a mask at the boarding gate, and while boarding and disembarking as well. If you don’t have one, you won’t be allowed to board the plane.
You can wear a face shield too but not as a replacement. Face shields need to be worn along with a face mask.
Emirates have stated that passengers need to wear a mask at all times at the airport, during boarding and when on board. However, removing the mask is allowed when eating or drinking during the flight.
Both crew members and passengers must wear a face mask at all times on Ryanair flights. This is valid for when you are at the airport as well.
To protect the health of others, as well as your own, it is recommended to try to maintain social distancing as you pass through the airport and while you are collecting your bags.
Always check the regulations at your destination as well. Depending on where you are going, you may also need to wear gloves or follow other health and safety measures. Some airports and airlines check your temperature before letting you proceed.
What’s more, some countries still have travel restrictions in place such as a compulsory 14 days self-isolation.
Airlines might have slightly different policies but all agree that during flights masks are compulsory, since they can slow the spread of viruses when coughing or sneezing.
If you are flying, make sure you always have some form of face covering because otherwise you won’t be permitted on board.
Stay updated and stay safe!