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Some Airlines Banning Cloth Face Coverings & Insisting on Surgical Quality Masks

Some Airlines Banning Cloth Face Coverings & Insisting on Surgical Quality Masks

A growing number of airlines are banning cloth face coverings in favour of higher-grade masks.

Finnair became the latest airline to ban fabric face coverings. From 16 August, all passengers must wear either a surgical mask, FFP2/3 respirator masks or any KN95/N95-standard mask.

Lufthansa and Swissair have had the ban in place since 1 February.

Other European airlines, including Air France and Croatia Airlines, also prohibit cloth masks, with Air France’s website making it clear that “for the health and safety of all, the wearing of a surgical mask is mandatory from the moment you arrive at the airport and throughout your Air France flight.”

Neither Aer Lingus nor Ryanair explicitly prohibit cloth masks.

In the USA

On 19 August the United States extended its mask mandate for all flights until 18 January at the earliest. It was scheduled to expire on 13 September.

However, the issue of masks is especially contentious in the U.S., with the TSA reporting an increase of air rage incidents of which 74 per cent were connected to the wearing of masks.

Although all airlines are obliged by the federally mandated mandated on face coverings, they are unlikely to introduce a ban on cloth masks for the time being and would most likely rely on the federal government to do so.

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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