13 maggio 2022
The countdown has already begun: six days and the masks will also disappear from planes across Europe. The European Union Agency for Aviation Safety (Easa) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc) have put it in black and white: from next Monday the obligation will become waste paper. Even at airports, between one check-in and the next, take the bibs out of your mouth. On a semi-condition: the mask remains “strongly recommended” for those who cough or sneeze and for all frail people. After all, given the decline in infections, the wide vaccination coverage and the relaxation of restrictions in every corner of the continent, this represents a further step on the road to return to full normality.
Clearly, based on airline companies and the places of destination, some distinctions cannot be ignored. Even after May 16, “flights to or from a destination where the use of the mask is still required on public transport should continue to encourage the use of the device, according to the recommendations”, Easa and Ecdc pointed out. As for vulnerable passengers, however, “they should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally of the Ffp2 type, which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask ». Laces and laces, however, will not only melt on board but also in the internal areas of the airports. Always an eye on distancing, of course, but a pragmatic approach was suggested to the staff. “You should avoid imposing distancing rules if they are very likely to produce a ‘bottleneck’ in another area.”
From the series: let’s avoid being too bigoted because then there is the risk that the cure is worse than the disease. Another chapter is that of the Digital Passenger Locator Form, the dPlf that many states have deleted, making it no longer mandatory for passengers to fill it in. European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control have brought the matter up to date: “Airlines should maintain their data collection systems on standby so that this information can be made available to public health authorities if necessary ‘. Very useful, for example, in the event that any new variant emerges identified as potentially more dangerous, that is, with “various levels of immune escape capacity and severity of symptoms”. In any case, airport personnel, crew members and passengers must be “vigilant and follow the recommendations and requirements of the national authorities of the state or region in which they are located”.
The director of the ECDC, Andrea Ammon, about the forfeiture of the obligation of the mask starting from 16 May he declared: «Although the risks remain, we have seen that the interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to return to normal. Although mandatory use of the mask in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to keep in mind that, along with physical spacing and a good hand hygiene, is one of the best ways to reduce transmission ”. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the decision of the top security in the skies, through the voice of its director general, Willie Walsh: “It is another important step along the road to return to normal for passengers”, warning however that different jurisdictions still maintain the obligation of the mask, ending up creating difficulties for airlines and passengers who fly with different rules between a country and the ‘other. “Although the European protocol enters into force next week, there is no globally consistent approach to wearing a mask on board aircraft.” And this is a void to fill.