The German government has recently announced their intention to drop masking requirements for travellers to and from Germany. However, Germany is leaving some room for changes if COVID-19 cases begin to rise rapidly again - in this situation, masking requirements may be reimposed.
Germany is far from the first country to remove mask requirements on flights, and many airlines have also begun to drop requirements where governments allow. Since planes have remained one of the few places where masking was still required, removing mask rules during flight is the last step for the removal of mandatory masking in many countries.
Many American airlines dropped mask requirements months ago, and for many flying, it may be a surprise that some airlines still have the requirement in place. However, the rules requiring masks have been in place for many international flights since early 2020.
This begs the question - should I be wearing a mask when flying? Despite the lack of mandates, many individuals continue to wear masks. Now that we have the freedom of choice, we need to weigh the risks and decide whether a mask is necessary for ourselves and our families and what kind of mask is needed.
Although mandatory masking is best to restrict the transmission of COVID-19, it’s been proven that even if only a susceptible individual is wearing a mask, their chances of contracting COVID-19 (and other viruses) are significantly lower. This means that even if others on the flight aren’t masking, we can still afford ourselves protection.
Planes - especially during taxiing and takeoff - have little circulation, and much of the air we breathe is being recycled. During these times, flights are high-risk locations and one of the more likely locations to contract COVID-19.
Therefore, although mask requirements have been lifted by many airlines and governments, it’s important to keep our own health and safety in mind. We recommend continuing to wear high-filtration masks and respirators. Not only to protect ourselves from short-term COVID but also to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the still largely unknown long COVID.