The decision by the German Federal Cabinet to extend and to even tighten the current requirement to wear masks while on aircrafts is met with "sheer incomprehension" by the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG), the airline association representing more than 100 national and international airlines.
A proposed regulation would require passengers on aircraft taking off or landing in Germany to wear only FFP2 masks in the future.
In response, BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe states: “The German Federal Government’s plan is not reasonable to us. There is no epidemiological basis for such a step. We appeal to the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and Federal Council (Bundesrat) to revise the legislative proposal.
With this decision, Germany is completely on its own. Most countries recommend wearing a mask only, and in many countries, including Germany, a medical mask has been sufficient.
For several months now, mask-wearing has no longer been mandatory at German airports.
BARIG says the requirement that passengers board an aircraft in or outside of Germany wearing a FFP2 mask is completely contradictory.
BARIG adds that this "unjustifiably strict regulation" would put Germany's position on the air transport market at a considerable disadvantage internationally.
Furthermore, the board says that tightening the requirements for mask use while flying would be counterproductive, since air travel poses only a low risk of infection.
This has been evident over the last two years and scientifically proven as well, especially with the help of high-performance HEPA filters and regular complete air exchange in the cabin.
As a result, in May 2022, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had already issued a clear recommendation to dispense with the mandatory wearing of masks on aircraft.
BARIG argues that the general requirement to wear FFP2 masks cannot be properly communicated to international as well as national travellers, since they have been exempt from this requirement for quite some time.
The choice should be left to passengers whether to wear a medical or FFP2 mask as part of their own protection when flying.
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