Mask requirement on public transport in France to end on May 16

It comes as the EU aviation safety body announces an end to its recommendation for masks on planes

Mask-wearing requirements are being removed in French public transports
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People in France will no longer be required to wear a face mask while on public transport from Monday (May 16), the government has announced.

Health Minister Olivier Véran said today that: “The epidemic situation is getting better, the pandemic is not over but the number of new daily cases is falling, the hospital situation is improving and we consider that it is no longer appropriate to maintain mask-wearing obligations in public transports.

“So from Monday, you will be able to breathe a bit more freely as temperatures rise.”

He announced the move following today’s (May 11) Conseil des ministres cabinet meeting, adding that masks would still be “recommended”.

Masks are currently mandatory in all public transports, including buses, trains, trams, metro services, planes and boats. Mr Véran said that the requirement would be lifted on “all” transport options, but did not give a definitive list.

The mask and health pass requirements currently in place in hospitals and care homes will remain in force.

Some 56,449 Covid cases were recorded yesterday (May 10), 15.8% fewer than were recorded seven days ago.

There are currently 1,364 Covid patients being treated in intensive care units, with 1,167 people being admitted to hospital yesterday.

Mask recommendation dropped for EU flights

The French government’s announcement comes as the The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a statement to say their recommendation for plane passengers to wear masks on flights and in airports will come to an end on May 16.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” said EASA executive director Patrick Ky.

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel.

“Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”

While the two bodies’ mask-wearing recommendation will come to an end next week, it will still be up to individual airlines to set their own rules.

It could mean that masks are still required on flights to or from a destination that still has mask-wearing mandates on public transport.

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