Czech Covid rules have been relaxed, but masks may still be required on flights

While EU-wide regulations for wearing masks on flights have been dropped, they may still be required based on the origin and destination country.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 28.05.2022 14:45:00 (updated on 08.06.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The first direct flight from the Czech Republic to the United States in more than two years took off yesterday as Delta resumed service between Prague and New York City.

And passengers should have had another relief on the nine-hour flight: according to Delta's current regulations, face masks should not be required on board based on current laws in the United States and Czech Republic.

The United States dropped its requirement to wear a mask on flights in April, and most airlines quickly announced that masks would be optional with the US. The Czech Republic removed the last of its Covid restrictions earlier this month, including the requirement to wear a mask in airports or on flights.

And the European Union's Aviation Safety Agency dropped its recommendation for mandatory mask-wearing on flights as of May 11.

Still, some countries have laws requiring masks be worn in airports or on flights. And if you're headed to or from one of these countries, it's likely that your airline will require you to wear a face mask in flight.

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As of last week, the EU countries that still required masks be worn included Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

While the situation is quickly changing, wearing a mask when flying to or from these countries may still be required. Four Dutch carriers including KLM, however, announced earlier this week that that masks would no longer be mandatory on flights.

Ultimately, the requirement to wear a face mask on board a flight will be at the discretion of the airline, and may not follow other regulations from a particular country.

Like Delta, however, British Airways, RyanAir, easyJet, and Jet2 have all announced that they would no longer be requiring masks when traveling between countries that don't require masks to be worn in airports or on flights.

Due to the rapidly-evolving situation, passengers may or may not be required to wear a mask on flight despite known regulations. RyanAir staff recently came under fire for requiring passengers to wear a mask even when available information suggested they should not.

While face masks are no longer required in Prague Airport, check with your airline to confirm if they are required on the flight.

And while masks may no longer be mandatory on many flights, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control still recommends they be worn.

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission," says ECDC director Andrea Ammon in a press release.

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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