Danish airports drop face mask rules after more than 600 days

The wearing of a face mask as a precaution against Covid-19 will soon no longer be obligatory in Danish airports.

airport passengers with face masks on in denmark
Face masks have been worn at Danish airports for over 600 days. File photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Billund Airport on Friday scrapped rules requiring passengers to wear a face mask, with Copenhagen and Aalborg airports to follow suit from Monday, Danish aviation media Check-in reports.

The smaller Sønderborg Airport is also set to end face mask rules, news wire Ritzau writes.

Airlines can still decide to require passengers to wear face masks on board aircraft.

Face mask requirements at airports are one of the few remaining Covid-19 restrictions left in place in Denmark after the majority of measures were lifted at the beginning of February.

Passengers at Danish airports have had to use face mask for the last 637 days, according to Check-in.

Covid-19 is no longer categorised by Danish health authorities as a critical threat to society and the epidemic in Denmark is considered to be under control, with daily infection numbers declining. New hospitalisation numbers are low and stable, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement on Thursday.

Friday marks the two-year anniversary since Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the first Danish national lockdown at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Denmark says Covid-19 testing now only needed for ‘special medical reasons’

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“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,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“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.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“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. 

“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.”