Norwegian has announced that travellers on its domestic operations and on services between Norway, Sweden and Denmark will no longer be required to wear face masks, with reports suggesting other airlines in the region are set to follow suit.
”Norwegian’s attitude has been to maintain the mask requirement for as short a period of time as possible,” it says on 14 October. “Those who still want to use face masks are of course welcome to do so.”
Passengers will still be required to wear masks on services to other European countries, it adds.
Local media reports suggest a number of other airlines in the region have decided to relax their mask policies following a meeting between carriers on 14 October.
Norwegian’s mask mandate has been in place since 17 June 2020, it says, but the “current infection situation” in Scandinavia and the loosening of restrictions in wider society have prompted it to change its policy.
Norwegian notes that most airports still require the wearing of face masks.
Source: Flight Global
Scandinavian Airlines, also known as SAS, will no longer require passengers to wear face masks on flights within the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
“Due to the opening of societies and general recommendations from authorities in Scandinavia, SAS is from 18 October 2021, removing the requirement for mandatory use of face masks on flights within Scandinavia,” the airline said on its website.
The flag carrier of the three Nordic nations is the largest global carrier to scrap the pandemic-era health safety policy for all passengers. Airlines around the world adopted the measure in the early months of the pandemic to stop the onboard spread of COVID-19.
Qatar Airways experimented with allowing business class passengers to only wear face masks at their discretion, as Insider reported in July 2020, but now requires all passengers to wear a face mask.
Travelers on SAS flights not within Scandinavia, however, will still have to wear masks as the airline says it will follow European Union Aviation Safety Agency recommendations for face masks on non-intra-Scandinavian flights.
“However, SAS will be following recommendations from EASA regarding mandatory use of face masks on other SAS flights, operating outside Denmark, Norway, and Sweden,” the airline also said.
Flights to non-European destinations including the US will still also keep existing face mask requirements. “SAS maintains the requirement to use face masks onboard flights to other European and intercontinental destinations until further notice,” the airline said.
Scandinavian Airlines’ policy also applies to unvaccinated flyers.
Source: Business Insider