TWO European Union agencies have announced that mandatory mask wearing on planes and at airports will end on May 16.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Prevention and Control of Diseases (ECDC) however stressed that it is up to individual member states like Spain to decide on policies in their countries.

The agencies say that vulnerable passengers should still use a high-grade FPP 2 mask and that mandatory mask wearing should continue on flights that take off or land in destinations where masks have to be used on public transport.

In Spain, masks are no longer mandatory at airports, but still have to be worn on public transport.

There has been no comment from the Spanish government as of Wednesday lunchtime.

The EU-wide recommendation has been reached after analysing infection rates and vaccination levels, coupled with immunity levels reached by people over the last two years.

ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said: “While risks remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal.”

EASA Executive Director, Patrick Ky, said: “Starting next week, face masks will no longer have to be mandatory on air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with changing requirements from national authorities across Europe for public transport.”

“For air passengers and crews, this is a huge step forward in normalising air travel,” added Ky.

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