This Airline Becomes First to Ditch Mask Wearing on Board

"It's no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask at our airports or onboard our planes," the airline said.

British airline Jet2 has dropped its mask mandate, a unique move in the airline industry as face coverings still remain a requirement among most major carriers.

According to the airline, passengers will no longer be required to wear masks in England or Northern Ireland on planes or in airports however face coverings are still legally required for passengers 6 years and older traveling in Scotland.

"Your safety is our priority, so we've created our Face Mask Policy so everyone knows exactly what's expected while traveling with us," Jet2 wrote in its guidance, adding, "It's no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask at our airports or onboard our planes. However, as per UK government guidance, we recommend that you continue to wear a face mask in these spaces, and you will need to wear one when you get to your overseas destination."

The decision to eliminate masks comes after the United Kingdom dropped the legal requirement to wear face coverings in England. Going forward, the government has said "operators are free to set their own requirements for wearing face coverings."

Despite the changing guidance, face coverings will still be required on other British airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Boeing 737-85F, from Jet2 company, getting ready to land at Barcelona airport, in Barcelona
Urbanandsport/Getty Images

"Although UK rules are easing, here at British Airways like other airlines and airports, wearing face masks is still our policy," the airline wrote. "We have this policy to protect our most vulnerable customers and abide by the laws of countries around the world."

Face masks are also required in the United States thanks to a federal transportation mask mandate that has been extended until at least March 18.

But several U.S. states have begun to ease mask mandates, including Nevada and California, as well as cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have eased its face mask recommendations, considering hospitalization rates and hospital capacity for its mask guidance, rather than case numbers.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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