Mask confusion on UK-France easyJet flights

Update: Airline tells Connexion it is following French rules

10 August 2020
By Brian McCulloch

Readers have warned of mask confusion on easyJet flights.

The airline's website says a “suitable protective face mask” must be worn on all flights - but it appears the word 'suitable' has not been clearly explained after two readers contacted Connexion to say staff are only accepting passengers who wear the blue/green, throw-away, surgical-type masks on flights to French airports.

In one case a passenger travelling from the UK to France was told to take off a high-protection white hospital mask and replace it with a blue surgical mask that gives less protection.

In another, a reader reported that people arriving for a flight to the UK from Bordeaux, equipped with the reusable fabric masks common in France, were told that they had to wear the blue surgical, throw-away ones instead.

There were no mask vending machines in the airport, the airline did not have any to sell, and it was only through the kindness of other passengers who gave masks from their personal stocks that passengers were allowed on the flight, said the reader.

Easyjet told Connexion they had no choice. It said decree n° 2020-860 issued by the French government on July 10 stipulates that only surgical masks can be worn during both international and internal flights in France.

The airline said: “French authorities have passed legislation that requires all passengers over the age of 11 travelling to and from France by air to wear a disposable surgical mask and no other types of face masks will be accepted.

“easyJet is informing customers of this requirement via email, SMS and Flight Tracker ahead of departure. Customers are also alerted to the importance of checking current travel requirements on our homepage and via our Know Before You Go information pages at easyJet.com.”

Contacted by Connexion, the French Ministry of Transport said it would try to find an explanation for the reason only one-use surgical facemasks were accepted.

French airlines have said from the start, that they will only take passengers wearing blue, surgical style, one-use masks.

Ryanair rules published at the end of June stipulate that passengers must either wear a mask or have some other face covering at all times in the aircraft and in the airports.

A spokeswoman said: "Ryanair's "Healthy Flying" procedures take account of operational guidelines set out by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) & European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).

"Ryanair has robust procedures in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew."

So far there have been no reports of readers using Ryanair being told that only blue surgical masks are acceptable.

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