British Airways Drops Face Mask Requirement (Update: Postponed)

British Airways Drops Face Mask Requirement (Update: Postponed)

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Update: It’s being reported that British Airways has postponed dropping its face mask requirement. Apparently this is because the company is still ironing out some details in terms of exactly under which circumstances masks won’t be needed, based on laws in different countries. Despite that, the airline still has a Tweet up about the face mask requirement being lifted as of today. You can find the original post from yesterday below.

As of tomorrow we’re going to see two major global airlines remove the requirement to wear a mask while flying. This is pretty major

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow, drop mask requirement

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Heathrow Airport, will all be dropping the requirement to wear face masks as of Wednesday, March 16, 2022. At least at British Airways it’s expected that staff will continue to wear masks, while it hasn’t yet been revealed what the policy will be at Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport.

There is one caveat, which is that the rules will be destination dependent:

  • Some destinations have transportation mask mandates on the ground, meaning that travelers will need to wear masks when they arrive in or depart from another country
  • Some destinations require travelers to wear masks for the entirety of the flight; for example, the current US transportation mask mandate requires this through April 18, 2022, so masks will still be required on flights to & from the United States

The UK no longer has any sort of a mask mandate for transportation, so we’ve seen some smaller airlines, like Jet2, drop the requirement to wear a face mask while flying. However, we haven’t yet seen a global airline do this yet, so British Airways will be the first.

This will come just two days before the UK lifts all coronavirus-related travel restrictions. With this, the UK will no longer require travelers to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) when traveling to the UK.

British Airways will no longer require passengers to wear face masks

It’s time for this to become the norm

Admittedly the concept of airlines ending face mask requirements is pretty complex:

  • In many cases you have government mandates around face masks, so airlines don’t have much of a choice
  • People have differing views on how necessary masks are when vaccines are available on a widespread basis; some people would of course welcome face mask requirements being eliminated, while others would be extremely uncomfortable
  • Then there’s the general challenge of consistency — some destinations will likely require masks for years to come, so it’s complicated for airlines to require masks on some flights but not others, require them during some phases of flight but not others, etc.

Personally I’m thrilled to see British Airways lifting the requirement to wear masks, and I say that as someone who is boosted, who has been happy to wear masks for the past two years, and who has avoided getting coronavirus.

I plan to continue to assess risk going forward and adjust my behavior accordingly. For example, if we see an omicron-style surge again, you can bet I’ll be wearing a mask while in crowded spaces (or just avoiding those spaces altogether). Meanwhile during periods where cases are low, I likely won’t be wearing masks. I’ll also continue to frequently test, especially since I have vulnerable people in my life.

All that being said, more broadly I believe that it’s time to live with coronavirus, and for people to be able to make their own choices. That’s not to say the pandemic is over — it’s absolutely not, and it’s here to stay. But we have widespread vaccines and other treatments to reduce the fatality of coronavirus, and we’re also at the point where we have to consider what we want life to look like going forward, rather than just saying “stay home to save lives.”

In most places in the United States, bars are open with no mask requirements, with significantly worse ventilation than you’ll find on planes. Of course people who want to wear masks on planes can continue to do so (and I’ll be among those people at times). And while masks are also about protecting others, wearing a KN95 provides you with quite a bit of protection.

Here’s to hoping that the US federal transportation mask mandate extension through April 18 is the last one that we see.

I hope other airlines follow British Airways’ lead

Bottom line

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Heathrow Airport, are all expected to lift mask requirements as of Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Masks will still be required on some flights based on rules at the destination, but it will no longer be a requirement in general. Over two years into the pandemic, I consider this to be welcome news.

What do you make of airlines and airports lifting mask requirements?

(Tip of the hat to Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

Conversations (185)
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  1. Sally Smith Guest

    If you want to wear one, then do so, don’t force it on those who don’t want to!!! Please drop the mask!!!! I have severe anxiety when wearing one!!!

  2. Samo Guest

    It's no longer postponed and the new policy already applies.

    For starters, BA removed mask requirements on flights to/from countries which have no domestic mask requirement. This includes England, Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden), Iceland and Hungary. For some reason, Switzerland isn't on the list yet. There are also some long haul destinations, e.g. Maldives and some Carribbean destinations.

    Masks are still required on flights to countries with domestic mask mandates, even if they don't have...

    It's no longer postponed and the new policy already applies.

    For starters, BA removed mask requirements on flights to/from countries which have no domestic mask requirement. This includes England, Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden), Iceland and Hungary. For some reason, Switzerland isn't on the list yet. There are also some long haul destinations, e.g. Maldives and some Carribbean destinations.

    Masks are still required on flights to countries with domestic mask mandates, even if they don't have a mask mandate for planes.

    The list should continue to be expanded as the situation becomes more clear.

  3. Jkjkjk Guest

    Vaccines are available widely? First world arrogance.

  4. Stephen M Guest

    Despite the incredible amount of ignorant people on this blog, I'll bite.

    Masks and vaccines work.

    Ignorance does not. Get the lead (pronouced led for the idiots) out of your head people.

    Another variant is on it's way (Q variant) and most are clueless about it. Look at China and Europe.

    1. Jkjkjk Guest

      China is handling them just fine. Contrary to popular belief, they care about people more here.

  5. azamaraal Guest

    So many attacks on so many people.

    The real news is that SCIENCE has not found real data to confirm that the AVERAGE JOE knows how to use a mask and how effective the AVERAGE JOE usage is.

    Or maybe they did.

    The LACK of clean evidence shouted from the rooftops shows that this is politics, not Science.

    Sweden NEVER DID HYSTERIA. They were shamed. From what I know they are much better off than the rest of Europe.

    1. Jkjkjk Guest

      Sweden has 10 million people with sparse population. They have sick leave and will stay at home when sick and won’t have to risk infecting others coming to work just so that they can make end meets.
      Population in general healthier than Americans. What’s your point here?

  6. Icarus Guest

    KLM will drop the mask requirement.
    , however as far as I see it’s still mandatory on Air France. Personally, I’ll continue to wear one. You still need to be mindful of local regulations, and courteous to others.

    1. Robert Schrader Guest

      Participating in hygiene theater that has no impact on viral transmission rates isn’t “courteous to others”—it’s insulting to their intelligence.

    2. Icarus Guest

      Or people who make comments like yourself who believe they are intelligent. The republic Americans and covidiots who believe truck drivers, Katie Hopkins, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Karen on Facebook.

    3. Chuck Gold

      Refusing to understand how viruses work and how your behavior affects other people isn't "intelligence".

  7. glenn t Diamond

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  8. Saif Guest

    Suggesting surgeons don’t wear masks in the OR is ludicrous and not worth saying much more. Citing masks are totally ineffective is another, ‘I heard that on fox news’ kind of statements. The question of mask mandates is a complicated one. I agree when mandates drop its up to individuals to decide for themselves. Given that there are enough self centered people who I have no doubts will get on a plane with symptoms with...

    Suggesting surgeons don’t wear masks in the OR is ludicrous and not worth saying much more. Citing masks are totally ineffective is another, ‘I heard that on fox news’ kind of statements. The question of mask mandates is a complicated one. I agree when mandates drop its up to individuals to decide for themselves. Given that there are enough self centered people who I have no doubts will get on a plane with symptoms with a disregard for the welfare of others than airlines should at least allow changes in seat assignments if a person is coughing and sneezing without regards to decent hygiene. And for sure, don’t give these types alcohol. If so, put a sedative in it.

  9. kenindfw Guest

    Kids are petri dishes as well as most individuals. I don't like the masks either, but if I've got a cough or something that is contagious, I need to wear a mask no matter if there's a mandate or not. Keep the mandate on until spring break season is over.

  10. Christian Guest

    Very good decision! We will be flying with you very soon, without masks finally!

  11. Andy Diamond

    As far as I am concerned, I will continue wearing a mask in public transport, including flights. I have caught a (harmless, but unenjoyable) bug in so many planes/trains/buses, that I simple don’t want to take the risk anymore.

  12. Tony Guest

    Covid cases are rising rapidly in many parts of Europe and Asia again. In many parts of the US, the concentration of the virus in wastewater (a reliable precursor) is also rising rapidly. Masks are practically the ONLY defense against infections in crowded spaces. Are we conceding defeat by dropping our only defense?

    1. Samo Guest

      It's about time. Covid is not going anyway, it's time to stop pretending to fight something we can't fight. Intra-scandinavian flights have already been mask-free for over a month and it still fails to lead to any disaster.

    2. Chuck Gold

      Not "can't" fight. Won't fight.

  13. Peter Haas Guest

    Masks *are* effective, and until our death rates are significantly below, say, a 9/11 attack a day, I’d say we try to protect our front line workers as well as the vulnerable for a few more weeks or whatever it takes.

    https://twitter.com/j_g_allen/status/1476176934568611843?s=21

  14. JT Guest

    Any source for this story? As of today (when the rules were reported to be live), BA's website still says that masks are mandatory, and Heathrow's website says that they are strongly recommended.

    I flew BA yesterday, and the rules were still in place.

    1. Peter Haas Guest

      That’s because they (BA) already walked it back. For a while anyway…

    2. Reno Joe Guest

      The UK mandate ends Friday the 18th. Technically, employees must wear masks until the 31st.

      I'm at LHR right now. The vast majority of people are not wearing masks.

      In spite of it all, it also depends on what your destination requires.

    3. Samo Guest

      UK (well, English) mask mandate has been removed months ago. Virgin Atlantic didn't walk back and they are already operating mask-free flights, so UK legislation doesn't appear to be the problem.

  15. Alex Guest

    Queue the next COVID surge to begin in about one month . . .

    1. Samo Guest

      Interestingly, intra-Scandinavian flights have already been mask-free for month and 4 days. Is the surge in Scandinavia higher than elsewhere? Of all EU member states, Germany appears to have the worst surge right now despite militant COVID measures and extreme mask mandates.

    2. Chuck Gold

      What's the vaccination rate among passengers on these flights?

  16. chris Guest

    Dislike. My partner is chronically ill and at very high risk. Wearing masks while the situation is still serious--record cases in Germany, etc--is just being kind to our vulnerable citizens. Don't just think about yourself.

  17. FlyerDon Guest

    So on BA flights between LHR and JFK what will be the rule. Wear a mask on JFK/LHR legs until over international water? LHR to JFK put one on as you approach the east coast, or do you just have to wear one when you are in the Terminal at JFK?

    1. Cdsfrog Guest

      Both ways where it. Us sucks

  18. Brian Guest

    Masks haven't worked anywhere. Good luck blocking a 80nm-120nm virus with a piece of cloth.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Brian

      Try:

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776536

      But yes, the correct materials and usage would help.

    2. glenn t Diamond

      Cloth masks like granny made you never worked. Only slightly better than nothing. Buy made-for-purpose only!
      Also incorrect wearing (with your nose hanging out etc.) reduces effectiveness considerably as does the 'chin diaper' look, which falls into the why-bother-at-all category.

  19. magpie Guest

    surgeons wear mask for 'droplets' not for stopping particles whilst breathing. stop getting your information from Facebook memes.

    the MNRA virus particles are .01 to .02 MICRONS in size, a standard mask allows particles up to 5 microns. Its like having scaffolding on a building and firing millions of golf balls at it...

    Wear your virtue signalling face nappy for ever more whilst others get on with their lives.

    1. Peter Haas Guest

      Wrongo. https://twitter.com/j_g_allen/status/1476176934568611843?s=21

  20. Seashorekoa Guest

    Human ignorance, stupidity and lack of responsibility poses the highest infection risk. Good quality face masks are a scientifically proven tool for reducing the risk of airborne infections, but they compensate poorly for fact-averseness and weak brains. Evolution has always been way more successful at that.

    1. magpie Guest

      Your lack of knowledge on providing the SCIENTIFIC evidence (peer published) of disposable face masks (usually made in poor countries by kids in non-clean sweat shops) is outstanding.

      keep wearing something that serves no purpose, unless you're dribbling and spitting on peoples faces and happen to be infectious....

    2. Seashorekoa Guest

      Thank you for volunteering as an example.

  21. Vic Harden Guest

    I never thought we lived in a world where individuals what put their self interest above everything else. I hate mask, but I wear them. Not for me, but my mom whom is immunocompromised while receiving proton treatment for cancer. I wear my mask to protect anyones and everyone’s family member (whom I don’t know) from the prospects of catching COVID. It’s simple and it works.

    1. applesa Guest

      End game being there is and will always be a corona virus so wear masks for ever on the small chance you will save someone? But in doing so take away the chance for the youngest to learn empathy/ emotion / expression, the fundamentals of humanity and how we communicate. The reality is medicine is based on the risk/reward ratio and due to omicron we are at a different place we were two years ago....

      End game being there is and will always be a corona virus so wear masks for ever on the small chance you will save someone? But in doing so take away the chance for the youngest to learn empathy/ emotion / expression, the fundamentals of humanity and how we communicate. The reality is medicine is based on the risk/reward ratio and due to omicron we are at a different place we were two years ago. The govt failed to look after the most vulnerable, it is simply not possible to avoid risk at all costs. The pandemic ended up being a pandemic of the vulnerable and the poor.

    2. X-CCCP Member

      @ Vic Harden - the western "culture' has ALWAYS been super selfish - it's centered around the individual not society.

    3. Johnny Guest

      Finally common sense prevails, masks are ridiculous on planes, people take them off put them on take them off put them all through flights , eating or sitting sipping water for hours during flights, masks not worn properly and generally useless on board

  22. George Romey Guest

    What ever happened to allowing adults make decisions for themselves and their families. I guess I should go into the smoking area at Miami Airport and scream at everyone smoking that because cigarette smoking is linked to cancer and that I "demand" they put out their cigarettes. Seriously, I never asked anyone to be concerned about my health and choice and I'm not concerned for others.

    1. DCS Diamond

      The trouble is that decisions that you make for yourself can harm others.
      If you have a death wish, then knock yourself out; just do not take me with you.

    2. platy Guest

      @ George Romney

      You can avoid someone who is smoking - but you don't know who is carrying the virus.

      In any case, smoking is variously banned in many scenarios (depending upon the country) so that smokers don't harm others.

  23. DCS Diamond

    In response to a comment like:

    and yet there is no proof that long covid is actually a thing, but thanks for chiming in with your misinformation. - @Tri Flyer

    I believe the following comment I posted below, which is hidden under the "fold" needs to reproduced more prominently...

    commenter A: "But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to live with coronavirus"
    To which @NPS responded aptly: "Long COVID is loving...

    In response to a comment like:

    and yet there is no proof that long covid is actually a thing, but thanks for chiming in with your misinformation. - @Tri Flyer

    I believe the following comment I posted below, which is hidden under the "fold" needs to reproduced more prominently...

    commenter A: "But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to live with coronavirus"
    To which @NPS responded aptly: "Long COVID is loving your statement."

    Most will likely wonder what that is all about or what the heck is "Long COVID"? For those who are making light of COVID-19 and the measures that have unquestionably limited the damage that it could have done, I would like to draw your attention to an emerging long-term medical consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, known as "Long COVID", for short, which has health officials and agencies so spooked that they have been putting out requests for applications (RFAs) for research grants to encourage studies designed to understand "Long COVID", in order to get ahead of it. As a biomedical research scientist, I naturally jumped at the opportunity. The following is from the 'Introduction' to one of two grant applications I submitted that are still pending scientific merit review.

    Ladies and gents, meet Long COVID:

    On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus[1], a pandemic[2]. Just one year later, the global impact of COVID-19 on nearly every facet of human life and endeavors, though still to be assessed fully, has been nothing short of staggering. Statistical data (Table 1) posted on 04 April 2021 by the independent and trusted real-time COVID-19 tracker website, Worldometer[3], provided the numbers of total, active and closed (i.e., outcome known) COVID-19 cases to date in the U.S. and worldwide. With at least 97% of total closed cases recovering from COVID-19, and at most 3% deaths worldwide (Table 1), coupled with the development of several highly effective vaccines against the virus that are being administered widely at a relatively brisk pace, it seemed that the world population stood to emerge from the pandemic relatively unscathed. Instead, on 23 February 2021, Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the NIH, sounded the alarm when he announced the launch of the Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID (PASC) Initiative[4] to study “Long COVID” -- an emerging medical construct that threatens to affect millions around the world even after the eventual end of the pandemic, because it is a consequence of COVID-19, whereby increasingly large numbers of individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to have multiple symptoms weeks to months after the acute phase of the infection[5]. A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation based on Worldometer’s 04 April 2021 worldwide statistical data (Table 1), and conservatively assuming that just 10% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 around the world would go on to develop Long COVID[6,7,27,29], it can be inferred that tens of millions of such cases could develop and persist across the globe even after “heard immunity” has been achieved and the pandemic threat has abated.

    If you think this is over and it's time to make light of it all, think again!

    G'day!

    1. Tri Flyer Guest

      Instead of copy and pasting and bolding the same text, share the link to ONE SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEWED STUDY.

      You are sharing misinformation.

    2. DCS Diamond

      This is so stupid it is beyond words. I will repeat what I wrote below and then you will cease to exist as far as I am concerned, because I am sure you will go to your grave believing that Trump did not lose the 2020 election fair and square:

      You want to see peer-reviewed studies on Long COVID? Then just type "LONG COVID" in your favorite search engine, read them (if that is possible), and then point out any "misinformation" that you find in any of them.

      Goodbye.

    3. platy Guest

      See comment below (it may take time to post if the links require moderation, which is why I personally try to avoid including links in my own posts rather direct people how to find the information for themselves - which is very easy to find information once you know how - again see my posts below).

      I also hesitate to provide links because if someone cannot perform a basic internet search for themselves it is...

      See comment below (it may take time to post if the links require moderation, which is why I personally try to avoid including links in my own posts rather direct people how to find the information for themselves - which is very easy to find information once you know how - again see my posts below).

      I also hesitate to provide links because if someone cannot perform a basic internet search for themselves it is highly unlikely they will understand the content of a specialised research paper. That intended to be arrogant or patronising, just reflective of practical reality.

  24. David Guest

    The federal mask requirement states requires operators of conveyances to require masks for flights both departing and arriving at the U.S. airport. See https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/Mask-Order-CDC_GMTF_01-29-21-p.pdf paragraph (3).

  25. Alan123 Guest

    Ah yes, here come all the Armchair Scientists who all apparently received Masters Degrees in Face Mask Effectiveness during the pandemic so excited to breath in the recycled air of hacking coughs and bad breath of our economy class seatmates once again.

    Brits never seemed too fond of masks during the pandemic anyway. I know several people who went from Canada (where masking was heavily in use) to the UK at various stages of...

    Ah yes, here come all the Armchair Scientists who all apparently received Masters Degrees in Face Mask Effectiveness during the pandemic so excited to breath in the recycled air of hacking coughs and bad breath of our economy class seatmates once again.

    Brits never seemed too fond of masks during the pandemic anyway. I know several people who went from Canada (where masking was heavily in use) to the UK at various stages of the pandemic and were quite surprised by the maskless crowds on packed trains and buses even during the worst periods of the pandemic.

  26. NPS Guest

    "But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to live with coronavirus"

    Long COVID is loving your statement. I've been traveling BTW; Masked and testing often NOT taking any chances and guess what I've not picked it up - I don't try to skirt country rules and I don't whine about it.

    Those I know who are traveling, some have picked it up. Two have long COVID from catching COVID in 2020, it isn't pretty...

    "But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to live with coronavirus"

    Long COVID is loving your statement. I've been traveling BTW; Masked and testing often NOT taking any chances and guess what I've not picked it up - I don't try to skirt country rules and I don't whine about it.

    Those I know who are traveling, some have picked it up. Two have long COVID from catching COVID in 2020, it isn't pretty by any stretch. This hit both of them a year later and they both feel as if they physically aged 20 years (breathing issues, etc). One died from it - she was quite healthy with no existing conditions, this was before vaccinations.

    I'm all for normal, do it based on factors, if BA2 is going to bump again, be proactive, do it quick and go back to "normal" as numbers go down. It should all be done on the numbers, not people pretending all is well.

    On the guy saying masks don't work - you for real? I've been wearing N95 and FFP2 in environments where others have picked up COVID - they damn well do work, take the tin foil hat off.

    1. Tri Flyer Guest

      and yet there is no proof that long covid is actually a thing, but thanks for chiming in with your misinformation.

    2. platy Guest

      @ Tri Flyer

      How the *beep* did you get to believe that "there is no proof that long COVID is actually a thing". Just how did you pick up such a stupid notion?

      Where's your evidence?

    3. DCS Diamond

      commenter A: "But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to live with coronavirus"
      To which @NPS responded aptly: "Long COVID is loving your statement."

      Most will likely wonder what that is all about or what the heck is "Long COVID"? For those who are making light of COVID-19 and the measures that have unquestionably limited the damage that it could have done, I would like to draw your attention to an...

      commenter A: "But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to live with coronavirus"
      To which @NPS responded aptly: "Long COVID is loving your statement."

      Most will likely wonder what that is all about or what the heck is "Long COVID"? For those who are making light of COVID-19 and the measures that have unquestionably limited the damage that it could have done, I would like to draw your attention to an emerging long-term medical consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, known as "Long COVID", for short, which has health officials and agencies so spooked that they have been putting out requests for applications (RFAs) for research grants to encourage studies designed to understand "Long COVID", in order to get ahead of it. As a biomedical research scientist, I naturally jumped at the opportunity. The following is from 'Introduction' to one of two grant applications I submitted that are still pending scientific merit review.

      Ladies and gents, meet Long COVID:

      On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus[1], a pandemic[2]. Just one year later, the global impact of COVID-19 on nearly every facet of human life and endeavors, though still to be assessed fully, has been nothing short of staggering. Statistical data (Table 1) posted on 04 April 2021 by the independent and trusted real-time COVID-19 tracker website, Worldometer[3], provided the numbers of total, active and closed (i.e., outcome known) COVID-19 cases to date in the U.S. and worldwide. With at least 97% of total closed cases recovering from COVID-19, and at most 3% deaths worldwide (Table 1), coupled with the development of several highly effective vaccines against the virus that are being administered widely at a relatively brisk pace, it seemed that the world population stood to emerge from the pandemic relatively unscathed. Instead, on 23 February 2021, Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the NIH, sounded the alarm when he announced the launch of the Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID (PASC) Initiative[4] to study “Long COVID” -- an emerging medical construct that threatens to affect millions around the world even after the eventual end of the pandemic, because it is a consequence of COVID-19, whereby increasingly large numbers of individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to have multiple symptoms weeks to months after the acute phase of the infection[5]. A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation based on Worldometer’s 04 April 2021 worldwide statistical data (Table 1), and conservatively assuming that just 10% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 around the world would go on to develop Long COVID[6,7,27,29], it can be inferred that tens of millions of such cases could develop and persist across the globe even after “heard immunity” has been achieved and the pandemic threat has abated.

      If you think this is over and it's time to make light of it all, think again!

      G'day!

    4. Tri Flyer Guest

      You didn’t prove anything except that you can copy and paste. Show me a scientific study that has been peer reviewed or stop spreading misinformation. It’s quite simple.

    5. DCS Diamond

      The only thing that is "simple" here is your mind.

      I could show you reams and reams of scientific studies on Long COVID and you would keep saying the same thing, just like I am sure you believe to this day that Trump did not lose the election fair and square.

      You probably know someone who is currently suffering from Long COVID, but believe they are "faking it."

      You want to see peer-reviewed studies on...

      The only thing that is "simple" here is your mind.

      I could show you reams and reams of scientific studies on Long COVID and you would keep saying the same thing, just like I am sure you believe to this day that Trump did not lose the election fair and square.

      You probably know someone who is currently suffering from Long COVID, but believe they are "faking it."

      You want to see peer-reviewed studies on Long COVID? Then just type "LONG COVID" in your favorite search engine, read them (if that is possible), and then point out any "misinformation" that you find in any of them.

      We'll be waiting to be illuminated with bate breath...

    6. Tri Flyer Guest

      So copy and paste the link to the scientific study and educate instead of being nasty and making false assumptions about internet commenters.

      Not sure what is so difficult about that, unless of course there aren't any scientific peer-reviewed studies showing long covid to being a real thing. Then of course I could understand why that would be hard.

    7. platy Guest

      @ Tri Flyer

      How about trying a little data mining for yourself, then?

      Got to Google and type in "PubMed".

      That will take you to a specialised search engine for the scientific / medical literature.

      Then type in "long COVID"

      It will return a long list of relevant scientific / medical papers: currently 1,257 of them.

      It's quite simple to take those steps.

      Incidentally, the publication Nature (arguably the most prestigious and highly regarded of...

      @ Tri Flyer

      How about trying a little data mining for yourself, then?

      Got to Google and type in "PubMed".

      That will take you to a specialised search engine for the scientific / medical literature.

      Then type in "long COVID"

      It will return a long list of relevant scientific / medical papers: currently 1,257 of them.

      It's quite simple to take those steps.

      Incidentally, the publication Nature (arguably the most prestigious and highly regarded of any scientific publication) is carrying a very recent article:

      Douaud, G., Lee, S., Alfaro-Almagro, F. et al. SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank. Nature (2022) published 7 March 2022 and I quote from the abstract:

      "...We investigated brain changes in 785 UK Biobank participants (aged 51–81) imaged twice, including 401 cases who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 between their two scans, with 141 days on average separating their diagnosis and second scan, and 384 controls. The availability of pre-infection imaging data reduces the likelihood of pre-existing risk factors being misinterpreted as disease effects. We identified significant longitudinal effects when comparing the two groups, including: (i) greater reduction in grey matter thickness and tissue-contrast in the orbitofrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus, (ii) greater changes in markers of tissue damage in regions functionally-connected to the primary olfactory cortex, and (iii) greater reduction in global brain size. The infected participants also showed on average larger cognitive decline between the two timepoints. Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still seen after excluding the 15 cases who had been hospitalised..."

      In short, the researchers found evidence of negative impacts on the brain of people who had had COVID (compared with those who had not) in brain scans taken months apart.

      You can track down and read these articles for yourself, which might be a good idea before you accuse a trained biomedical scientist of spreading misinformation.

      If you ever want a grown up discussion on the issue of "proof" in a scientific context, then impress us with your philosophical acumen, bearing in mind you might come across people (such as myself) who have attended lectures by the founder of modern theory on the scientific method, Sir Karl Popper.

      @ DCS - good job, mate.

    8. Tri Flyer Guest

      So where's the link? Why is everyone copying and pasting and not sending the link?

    9. DCS Diamond

      I will repeat what @platy just suggested. as I also suggested: How about trying a little data mining for yourself, then?
      And then I will repeat what I wrote presciently because it is precisely what you are doing:

      I could show you reams and reams of scientific studies on Long COVID and you would keep saying the same thing, just like I am sure you believe to this day that Trump did not lose the election fair and square.

    10. platy Guest

      @ Tri Flyer

      I will provide you with the links. The post may take a while to show because the links may require moderation before they go public.

    11. platy Guest

      One peer reviewed article (Douaud, G., Lee, S., Alfaro-Almagro, F. et al. SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank. Nature (2022)):

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04569-5

      The medical search engine:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

      A list of scientific / medical research papers on long COVID generated by inputting "long COVID" into the PubMed search engine:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=long+covid&filter=datesearch.y_1

      One peer reviewed article (Douaud, G., Lee, S., Alfaro-Almagro, F. et al. SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank. Nature (2022)):

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04569-5

      The medical search engine:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

      A list of scientific / medical research papers on long COVID generated by inputting "long COVID" into the PubMed search engine:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=long+covid&filter=datesearch.y_1

    12. DCS Diamond

      @platy -- Great job yourself! My interest in Long COVID is 'natural' because for the past 20 years I have been conducted brain imaging research in a mysterious post-viral disorder known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which, according to big-shot bug hunters like Dr. Antony Fauci, shares so many clinical features and symptoms (e.g., brain fog", persistent fatigue not alleviated by rest, gastrointestinal and sleep disturbances, etc) with Long COVID that it is postulated that...

      @platy -- Great job yourself! My interest in Long COVID is 'natural' because for the past 20 years I have been conducted brain imaging research in a mysterious post-viral disorder known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which, according to big-shot bug hunters like Dr. Antony Fauci, shares so many clinical features and symptoms (e.g., brain fog", persistent fatigue not alleviated by rest, gastrointestinal and sleep disturbances, etc) with Long COVID that it is postulated that leveraging what has been learned about CFS can shed new light onto the underpinnings of Long COVID, and vice versa...

      Cheers!

    13. platy Guest

      @ DCS

      Then the research paper I cited was well chosen! Be well. Be brilliant.

  27. DCS Diamond

    In today's WaPo:

    Every week, it seems, brings fresh confirmation of the basic truths about the pandemic that have long been obvious to all except those consuming the disinformation of the Trumpy right: Vaccines work. Masks work. Conspiracy theories don’t.

    Last week, a new CDC study [the 'Arkansas study'] confirmed that — shocker — masks prevent illness. A study of Arkansas school districts found that those with full mask requirements had a 23 percent...

    In today's WaPo:

    Every week, it seems, brings fresh confirmation of the basic truths about the pandemic that have long been obvious to all except those consuming the disinformation of the Trumpy right: Vaccines work. Masks work. Conspiracy theories don’t.

    Last week, a new CDC study [the 'Arkansas study'] confirmed that — shocker — masks prevent illness. A study of Arkansas school districts found that those with full mask requirements had a 23 percent lower incidence of covid-19 among students and staff compared to districts with no mask requirements. Those with partial mask requirements were in between, and those that switched from no mask to masks had reduced illness.

    Those celebrating BA's decision to drop the face mask requirement owe a debt of gratitude to millions around the globe who took the pandemic threat seriously and chose (a) to cooperate with health and government authorities' "social distancing" measures and guidelines (including, yes, mask mandates) that 'flattened the curve", and (b) to get vaccinated, all of which unquestionably minimized the pandemic's toll and have abated its threat sufficiently to make it possible for BA to drop the face mask requirement.

    G'day.

    1. DCS Diamond

      @Cdsfrog -- Anyone who would "LOL" at 23% in the context of a deadly human disease and epidemiology is so clueless it is quite unlikely they complete elementary school (Trump's favorite kind!). If you start at 23% just for wearing masks, imagine where you would be after you include other social distancing measures and, la pièce de resistance, vaccines.

      I bet you instead bought in the claim that masks were just 3% more effective than...

      @Cdsfrog -- Anyone who would "LOL" at 23% in the context of a deadly human disease and epidemiology is so clueless it is quite unlikely they complete elementary school (Trump's favorite kind!). If you start at 23% just for wearing masks, imagine where you would be after you include other social distancing measures and, la pièce de resistance, vaccines.

      I bet you instead bought in the claim that masks were just 3% more effective than not wearing one, despite no evidence whatsoever.

      Cahn't make this stuff up.

    2. Applesa Guest

      Study is flawed - sort of like saying somebody walked past you and you caught COVID .
      Masks did very little, it was humans that changed the curve - people stopped going out when the curves went up . Started going out when curve went down and thus a new up curve . These posts are arm chair science

    3. platy Guest

      @ Applesa

      To clarify - you are accusing a trained biomedical researcher (@DCS) of "armchair science"?

    4. DCS Diamond

      Fortunately, rigorous research is not done the way you presume it's done. The study design and/or data analysis usually controls for extraneous 'skewing' or biasing factors that you claim make it a flawed study. One would assume that CDC researchers would be aware of something so basic...

  28. David Guest

    This shouldn't be a "Wow." It should have already happened in the US. But as our much-vaunted Vice President said, we got what we voted for. Biden promised he would do better handling COVID, because he said so. You know, lunch bucket Joe, from Scranton, rides the train like the rest of us commoners. He didn't have a plan, like most things the administration is facing. More people have died during his short time in...

    This shouldn't be a "Wow." It should have already happened in the US. But as our much-vaunted Vice President said, we got what we voted for. Biden promised he would do better handling COVID, because he said so. You know, lunch bucket Joe, from Scranton, rides the train like the rest of us commoners. He didn't have a plan, like most things the administration is facing. More people have died during his short time in office and there's no clear plan for getting out of these mandates. Fauci has gone MIA. Clearly the administration realizes he's become a liability. It's also time to drop the testing mandate for returning to the US.

    1. DCS Diamond

      It should have already happened in the US.

      Nonsense. Had it happened sooner, we would likely still be burying thousands, and the lifting of the mask mandate would still not even be on the horizon.

      The pandemic did not recede on its own, y'know. Just pray that there isn't a deadlier variant up ahead...

      G'day!

    2. NPS-CA Guest

      Let me guess, anything Biden does you will call crap, vaccines, test kits, heck even Russia.

      Anyone coming into 2021 was going to deal with an avalanche of cases, you think the prior guy had it all under control? My the delusion in my fellow travelers. Explain how OTHER countries also didn't get it under control in 2021? Did aren't run by a US admin?

    3. David Guest

      The facts are the facts. Sorry if that upsets you. Biden said he would do better. He hasn't.

    4. David Guest

      By sooner I was speaking in terms of months. Nevertheless, I think the claim that masks while flying saved thousands of lives is highly dubious at best.

    5. DCS Diamond

      You can believe whatever you wish. Some of us know better because we follow scientific data and evidence.
      COVID-19 did not suddenly decide to recede on its own. Measures that you claim are dubious, after fact and without any evidence, have cumulatively brought us to this point where that light at the end of the tunnel is the way out rather than an incoming train...

    6. platy Guest

      @ David

      It is extremely sad that tRump and his simpering idiotic Republicans decided to politicise COVID. It's been a road to disaster. It leads you to a position where you have to denigrate the very scientists and health workers, who are the very people who have been risking their lives to save your sorry butt, because you stupidly attach to some short term political brain fart orchestrated by a desperate despot with zero appreciation...

      @ David

      It is extremely sad that tRump and his simpering idiotic Republicans decided to politicise COVID. It's been a road to disaster. It leads you to a position where you have to denigrate the very scientists and health workers, who are the very people who have been risking their lives to save your sorry butt, because you stupidly attach to some short term political brain fart orchestrated by a desperate despot with zero appreciation of science. What a ship of fools you have become. What an object of utter derision you have become in the minds of anyone with the least modicum of intelligence.

      You are a laughing stock in our local bar. Bored - no problem - we can always have a giggle at the expense of those dumb right wing Americans and the mind-blowingly banal brainless and sociopathic tRump. Only it's a nervous laugh because you've lost one million souls. Those that cared were steamrolled by those who were trying to make a political statement. That's mental - and absolutely f----ing pathetic. Shame on you all. No unity. No respect. Just selfish.

      You are then forced to cherry pick those aspects of the debate that suit your political position, twisted, edited, misinformed and pumped up for the uncritical minds of the followers of right wing media and social media memes. The dumb manipulating the stupid.

      You are then forced to denigrate and invalidate the very control measures that have been proven over human history to control pandemics with all sorts of twisted and non scientific logic claiming you are smarter than the good folk who have spend decades studying and working in medical and scientific fields of relevance, when. Most of you are too dumb to discriminate between a falsifiable hypothesis and the lashing lies of fake news.

      You are then forced to deny the successes of other countries who didn't follow the tRump playbook, trash them, pillory them, call them communists or summon all sorts of other retarded and desperate attacks. And then, despite those baseless attacks being exposed as fake with the evidence, you still persist in your deluded right wing mythology, make the same erroneous accusations over and over again.

      You are then forced to slap together some idiotic arguments about freedoms to wall paper over your abject failures to protect the one million dead at your doorstep, enough dead bodies to line up along I95 head to toe from New York to Miami.

      When somebody offers scientific insight you call them arrogant. You undermine the wisdom of expertise by saying stupid stuff like the opinions of experts can't be trusted and to dare to suggest their highly informed advice is no better than the insights of random people pulled off the street.

      And then, once all the damage has been done, when the science and the control measures have been utterly politicised, the scientific and medical fraternity ridiculed, you have the gall to attempt to divert the blame to the next administration. Your right wing mob did their worst and now you want to shift the blame when somebody else is left cleaning up the clsterf--k of your own making.

      You have no idea how to research the actual scientific and medical literature, rather regurgitate half digested chants from some media fool. No matter - you wouldn't be able to understand a word of such scientific papers anyway.

      Do you have idea how tragically idiotic the ring wing mob has become in the USA?

      Under the tRump anti-democratic rule, you had 40 times the mortality rate of Australia. Let me explain that to you, since you are evidently a dumb right wing American, for every one person who died in Australia, 40 died in the USA.

      Were can witness the causes of that right on this very blog. Folk in denial. Folk claiming they know something about science when they are fossilised in abject ignorance. Folk calling out highly trained and experienced medical scientists as "armchair scientists". Please! Folk claiming that masks don't work when one minute of online search of the medical literature proves otherwise. Folk
      claiming that there is no such thing as long covid when one minute of searching the medical literature will prove otherwise. Folk claiming that vaccines don't work when one minute of online search of the m medical literature wil prove otherwise. And the same story for lockdowns. And the same story for quarantine.

      Mental. Stupid. Right wing idiots.

      David, for goodness sake grow up, you stupid child.

  29. mark Guest

    incredible how ill informed some of your readers are. sad that they get their news from Facebook and fox.

  30. Iain Guest

    Great that the mask mandate is going! Useless theatricals anyway. No academic studies are supporting cloth masks as a protection against microscopic viruses. Hepa filtration on board planes makes their environment as safe as any can be! So much evidence now in the public domain ( if you look hard enough) that vaccination with these (still experimental) drug cocktails increase the risk of becoming ill ( and not just with covid-19). E.g. Israeli health ministry...

    Great that the mask mandate is going! Useless theatricals anyway. No academic studies are supporting cloth masks as a protection against microscopic viruses. Hepa filtration on board planes makes their environment as safe as any can be! So much evidence now in the public domain ( if you look hard enough) that vaccination with these (still experimental) drug cocktails increase the risk of becoming ill ( and not just with covid-19). E.g. Israeli health ministry report on the outcomes for 2 million patients. If you are vulnerable don't travel. The rest of us should just get on with it.

  31. James Guest

    Wearing a mask doesn't bother me per se, but I'd rather not as I've had Covid, boosted, and when flying, done a lateral flow. I won't get into an effectiveness debate; but I do call out when it's theatre - planes are a great example, the virus stays away when you are eating and drinking for 3 hours, but comes back when you stop?
    Yep, time to ditch them on planes (at least when...

    Wearing a mask doesn't bother me per se, but I'd rather not as I've had Covid, boosted, and when flying, done a lateral flow. I won't get into an effectiveness debate; but I do call out when it's theatre - planes are a great example, the virus stays away when you are eating and drinking for 3 hours, but comes back when you stop?
    Yep, time to ditch them on planes (at least when sitting, and when moving around you are not in the same location for more than a few minutes so you won't be spreading).

    1. Chuck Gold

      " the virus stays away when you are eating and drinking for 3 hours, but comes back when you stop?"

      Do you HONESTLY think that anyone believes that a virus behaves that way? Why can't you libertarians understand the concept of reducing risk as much as is practicable in the given moment?

  32. Olivia Guest

    U.K. only has about 171,000 new Covid-19 cases today....... that's nothing to worry about....especially for the elderly and those with autoimmune diseases. It's a super huge deal to wear masks at any time. Perhaps we should let go of the seatbelt in the plane as well??? even during turbulence, take off and landing?

    1. Iain Guest

      "Cases" isn't necessarily a sign of illness or death rates rising. Excess mortality is down on the 5 year average ( source: O.N.S.). Seatbelts are proven to reduce injury and deaths. Masks not so.

    2. MG Guest

      Why not eliminate the risk? Is giving someone else COVID when out in public despite having masks and social distancing okay? Does that not bring the same negative connotation as someone who didn't follow what were told to be measures of prevention? Everyone wants to point fingers on what to do without inconvenience to themselves and their daily lives. Reducing and eliminating are two different things. If one has concerns of life over death to...

      Why not eliminate the risk? Is giving someone else COVID when out in public despite having masks and social distancing okay? Does that not bring the same negative connotation as someone who didn't follow what were told to be measures of prevention? Everyone wants to point fingers on what to do without inconvenience to themselves and their daily lives. Reducing and eliminating are two different things. If one has concerns of life over death to them or others they should continue avoiding public interaction for the foreseeable future.

    3. Applesa Guest

      Stop the nonsense - uk has done significantantly more testing than the USA - generally they test more per day than the entire USA does , you can find data that supports your bias anywhere . The reality is uk / Israel did a better job with the data and changed their opinion when data changed they didn’t keep on the same blind path . You should be willing to look at new data and facts.

    4. JT Guest

      That number is incorrect. Daily figures are around 60-70k. Not low - but not 171,000. As others have said, the UK has the highest testing rate of any large country so the UK case numbers looks high.

      Surely, it's ok to have a choice? BA have a monopoly on very few routes. You want your fellow passengers masked, then choose the competition. BA is doing this because they think it will work the other way around. I think they'll be proved right.

  33. E. Guest

    I bet the US administration will extend it again, because they can't give it up.

    Shame I'm flying to the UK next week from the US as someone who has had Covid twice and been vaccinated (to travel). Still have to wear the useless mask even though it impedes my breathing so much I get asthma attacks. #science!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You had Covid twice!!!!!! and vaccinated.

      It really tells about your character.

      I can't imagine how many people got infected from you each time. Multiply those exponentially. If you were dead since the first, how many lives could you save.
      #science!

    2. Iain Guest

      Nice attitude! Should have been a judge at the Salem witch trials!

    3. applesa Guest

      the type of reply from a despicable person. So those who "got covid" all intentionally got it and purposefully spread it? So the folks working in Walmart , the elderly who live in a care home and contracted if from other patients who the NYC health system sent infected patients back to live with them? The person being infected is to blame? WOW just WOW. What next - someone drives a car into you and...

      the type of reply from a despicable person. So those who "got covid" all intentionally got it and purposefully spread it? So the folks working in Walmart , the elderly who live in a care home and contracted if from other patients who the NYC health system sent infected patients back to live with them? The person being infected is to blame? WOW just WOW. What next - someone drives a car into you and it's your fault because you went outside? Someone wearing a type of skirt , asked for it? PATHETIC

    4. urbanPHX Guest

      You know… You could just DRIVE to your destination. If I thought wearing a mask would kill me, I would just not fly.

    5. Icarus Guest

      Drive across the ocean?! Americans are reliant on flying as in general, the rail system is awful. Even short distances such as New York - Philadelphia. It takes 3 x longer to ref from LA to San Diego by train than London - Manchester which is a greater distance.

  34. bigbird Guest

    YAY! Everything is good again! So much for the 7 million immuno compromised in the US. Who cares about the kids who cannot get vaccinated? I am so thrilled that I don't have to put up w/wearing a mask ever ever again, and no matter who I kill, well that's the breaks cuz you are not the boss of me! No way no how!!! Sure. I am a 4 year old having a little mini breakdown but I've found a new home!!! What a great travel blog

    1. applesa Guest

      Sorry - kids who can't get vaxxed? You mean the Vax for "children" I am talking the ones who children not teenagers/ adults. The reason it is no available is due to the fact it does nothing for the age group, it failed the tests. The youngest kids are not getting covid and ending up in hospital. There is more chance they will end up in hospital from the emotional side of the pandemic. There...

      Sorry - kids who can't get vaxxed? You mean the Vax for "children" I am talking the ones who children not teenagers/ adults. The reason it is no available is due to the fact it does nothing for the age group, it failed the tests. The youngest kids are not getting covid and ending up in hospital. There is more chance they will end up in hospital from the emotional side of the pandemic. There is zero evidence to support your stance. Immune etc of course but did immune compromised not exist in pre-2020? Fear is a thing and that's fine but it's your fear and not everyone's.

  35. John Guest

    Ben, do you really think the reason you haven’t got a cold recently is because of your mask? You seem way smarter than that.

  36. Johosofat Guest

    Following the lead of Jet2, just like BA did for onboard service.

  37. Tim Dunn Diamond

    to no one's surprise, Virgin Atlantic has removed its mask mandate where it is allowed to do so.

  38. Endre Guest

    Covid is endemic and we have to live with it. Once our government drops the face mask mandate, my spouse and I decided to wear face masks only when it is too crowded or in places without sufficient ventilation. I think we all need to find our own ways and just accept if others view this topic differently.

  39. Loo Guest

    Tell this to the DICKtators running the show in the penal country of the Disunited States of Australia. While the rest of the world is dropping mandates, we have emergency powers being extended in order to enforce existing mandates snd introduce more.

    1. urbanPHX Guest

      The experts know nothing. The random yokels on the internet? Everything

    2. Maxi Guest

      It might surprise you, if you read e.g. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, that experts are in fact worse in predicting the future than randomness (i.e. random yokels on the internet). Funny but true.

      In any case, it is about arguments, not about who utters them. Don't believe stuff straight away just because an expert says so.

    3. platy Guest

      @ Maxi

      ...but, surely, if those experts have the competency to compile more information than a random yokel on the internet, they would be better placed to confront the uncertainties of the future. ;)

      ...savvy experts also understand the limitations of their methodology and the weaknesses of statistics...

  40. dave68 Guest

    I am very pleased to hear this great news. I hope that this will set a precedent for more and more governments to start dropping "cOvId" restrictions in general, and I hope that by the end of may when i'm scheduled to fly back from jnb-doh-phl, the 24 hour test rule will have already been dropped. it's long been time to get back to normal, there is no reason we should still be encountering any covid propaganda restrictions anymore. oh and lock fauci up.

  41. Alex lyne Guest

    I’m delighted to see this it will make travel so much easier.

  42. Jack Hodgson Guest

    Sadly as the vast majority of destinations on the BA network either require the use of facemasks onboard or both onboard and in the airport few routes will lose them for the time being especially within Europe. A positive step none the less especially with Heathrow also dropping mask wearing just advising it

    1. Rod james Guest

      I've been waiting almost 2 years for this announcement ! I've never worn a mask, never vaccinated, never antisocial distanced, and never tested, don't even have a common cold. I can now look forward to travel to selected destinations that do not play this silly pantomime.

    2. travisair Member

      Have you really never worn a mask for the past two years? Just hard to believe with so many businesses, schools, etc requiring them - especially earlier in the pandemic.

    3. James Guest

      Good for you! Let's hear it for your freedom to help make others get sick.

  43. Cdsfrog Guest

    About time! Let me people make up their own mind. Enough time to move on

  44. Alonzo Diamond

    Masks aren't required in massive indoor sports arenas around the world. Neither are they required inside most restaurants around the world. Minus the fact that people remove them as soon as they take their seat. Think about that. Ever hear of a massive outbreak at a major college or professional sporting event where the arena was indoors?

    1. platy Guest

      @ Alonzo

      Just spend one minute using Google, for goodness sake, before you post!

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-99997-0

  45. Mark Guest

    I seriously disagree and think that BA's action is irresponsible at this stage, especially given the spike of cases and new variants developing in Scotland and the UK. Being within a limited confined space often in close proximity to so many strangers, who may or may not be healthy or care about their fellow passengers, and given Omicron's super transmissibility, continuing to wear masks on a plane is a simple, relatively painless and caring way...

    I seriously disagree and think that BA's action is irresponsible at this stage, especially given the spike of cases and new variants developing in Scotland and the UK. Being within a limited confined space often in close proximity to so many strangers, who may or may not be healthy or care about their fellow passengers, and given Omicron's super transmissibility, continuing to wear masks on a plane is a simple, relatively painless and caring way to go until we truly have strong evidence that COVID is behind us.

    As to the myth that the air filtration systems on airplanes make them relatively safe from COVID transmission, I have many friends in the medical and science fields who swear to the contrary and instead say that being so close to one another and easily within sneeze or coughing distance, makes an airplane a petris dish for spreading the disease. Wearing a mask is an easy way to mitigate that risk.

    I personally will opt to fly another airline on routes to Europe and beyond.

    1. Cmorgan Guest

      What are you going to do Mark when all the other airlines follow course? No one said you can’t wear a mask.

    2. ron Guest

      If you believe in masks then nothing to stop you wearing one throughout the flight.
      personally I don't think the 1-2% reduction in risk is worth it.
      I will wear a mask if I have any respiratory symptoms though.

    3. Jack Hodgson Guest

      Most European destinations still require masks on public transport something BA and other airlines must follow. most people will likely wear a mask anyways

    4. Rod james Guest

      I'm sure they will not survive now !

  46. Tim Dunn Diamond

    other sources are saying the UK is dropping ALL covid related border controls. If so, this is beyond a quantum leap forward in ending covid theater and returning the world to normality.

    I would bet the cash registers at British Airways are ringing up a storm and Virgin Atlantic is desperately trying to tell Delta that Biden is their problem.

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      Yeap Tim from Friday we are back to pre pandemic living, no local restrictions and now the airports and ports are back to normal with no tests needed if vaccinated or not.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I absolutely commend the British. It has been a hell of the past 2 years but you people are making the right moves.

      Of course, having the UK government pay Brits to open their homes to Ukrainian refugees is the most right thing to do....

  47. pez Guest

    Excellent timing, seeing as COVID-19 is done in the UK. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/12/covid-restrictions-eased-cases-coronavirus-precautionary-peasures

  48. Susan Guest

    The timing is ironic, given the very recent increase in Covid hospitalizations in the UK happening simultaneously, thanks to the drop in all domestic mitigation measures as a new sub-variant rages (and the US will be in the same place in a couple of weeks, if historic trends hold true).

    But given filtration on aircraft, I’m fine with dropping masking on planes. I’m less comfortable with dropping it in airports, which are a far...

    The timing is ironic, given the very recent increase in Covid hospitalizations in the UK happening simultaneously, thanks to the drop in all domestic mitigation measures as a new sub-variant rages (and the US will be in the same place in a couple of weeks, if historic trends hold true).

    But given filtration on aircraft, I’m fine with dropping masking on planes. I’m less comfortable with dropping it in airports, which are a far riskier environment. Yes, we have to learn to live with Covid, but as long as one or more countries in my itinerary continues to require PCR tests and a positive result can occur 90 days after infection, the only choice is to take all prudent measures, including N95 masks while traveling, to avoid infection. I wouldn’t want to risk a 2 week quarantine in government mandated facilities in Zimbabwe, would you?

    1. Jack Hodgson Guest

      most airports either mandate or very strongly recommended mask wearing. most will do the right thing and wear one

    2. greg99 Gold

      I don't share your optimism that people will do the right thing. My area just dropped their indoor mandates, and as a result, I'm the only one wearing any mask, let alone an N95.

    3. Brian Guest

      Good grief, if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. Wear two or three. But don’t expect ME to wear one. Your health is not my concern. Never has been and never will be.

    4. Iain Guest

      Bang on, Brian! I do have a concern for other people's health, but me wearing or not wearing a mask will do nothing to help. Virtue signallers of the world will snipe at us, but hey ho!

    5. Cmspare1 Guest

      I wish that it were really so clear what is doing the right thing.

  49. Happy Flyer Member

    This is awesome! It needs to be done here and by the way, drop the testing requirement for inbound international travel as well.

    1. Barbara Guest

      I totally agree with you !! enough is enough!

  50. Robert Fahr Guest

    Twenty one years ago ONE fool tried to light his shoes on fire and Americans still have to take their shoes off at TSA. We have a lot of security theater in this country. That being said I likely will wear a mask at times just not to come down with any virus en route to a vacation.

  51. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Didn't SAS do this months ago?

  52. First to the left Guest

    I will continue to mask in the terminals as they are teaming with all kinds of nasty international bugs. I swear I get sick every time I walk through heathrow. At least I won’t be self conscious now as it’s more common.
    But once I get settled into 1A/1K wooohoooo! Party time!

  53. George Romey Guest

    If we didn't have inept government in the States this would have been dropped. BTW I read some posts on the subreddit r/flightattendants. Most seem to be well over this charade and they needing to enforce the joke.

    1. MikeL1986 Guest

      I always knew that the FA's were probably dying for this mandate to be lifted. As one FA stated, when you enforce the mandate, you're risking an unpleasant altercation with the passenger. If you look the other way and decide to not address the passenger, you risk disciplinary action by your employer. It's a lose-lose either way for the FA.

  54. DCS Diamond

    I will still exercise my judgment regarding when to put or not to put on a mask.

    As a rule of thumb:
    - Off when flying in business with individualized seats/"cubicles" (e.g., Polaris) or equivalent;
    - ON when in coach or in business with someone sitting right next to me...

    1. panda Gold

      lol good luck with those fuel surcharges

  55. 9volt Member

    It’s interesting how the mask mandate is still in place for flights arriving/departing the US. I would’ve thought it would apply to US airspace only. Once you’re clear of US airspace, then I would assume the US has no enforcement authority.

    1. greg99 Gold

      No. Failure to comply could subject the airline to withdrawal of their authority to operate services to the US.

  56. Tim Dunn Diamond

    To add, US airlines DESPERATELY want the US to lift the mask mandate because there is a segment of customers that won't put up w/ something that even airlines can't definitely prove makes a difference on top of the high quality air filtration systems that modern aircraft use.

    Execs at AA, DL and UA are beyond pissed this afternoon w/ this news - and none more than at AA where they face a host of passengers booking on BA instead of AA.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      People should already be flying BA over DL, UA, or AA, masks or no masks.

    2. Mark P Member

      Some of us don't want to pay a $700 surcharge on our business class tickets.

    3. Jake212 Guest

      Why wound AA be pissed when AA have a revenue neutral joint venture. They share revenue across the Atlantic. AA is happy about this, DL & UA are the ones pissed.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      if you think that AA will keep its share of revenue if passengers for an extended period of time choose BA over AA.
      BA isn't stupid. They knew full well that Biden just shot down removing masks and moved forward to gain an advantage.

  57. Steve Diamond

    I dont see how anyone can be against this, masks have been proven to be incredibly ineffective. If you still want to wear a cloth mask go ahead, if you still want to improperly wear an n95 mask for the third straight week that has loss all of its effectiveness after one day of use then go ahead. Its time to end covid theatre.

    1. Joe Guest

      Masks are so ineffective that even surgeons won't wear them in operating theatres.

    2. Florian Guest

      I sincerely hope nobody's trying to perform surgery on a plane or bus...

      And sorry but couldn't resist: 95% filter performance against airborne particles does not equal 95% effectiveness (against becoming infected), it means that it takes longer to inhale a dose that can eventually infect you - and hopefully long enough that you do not get infected at all when interacting with a contagious individual.

    3. platy Guest

      @ Joe

      Er - the focus in the operating theatre is management of surgical wound infection, resulting in a strong focus on limiting the spread of bacteria ;)

    4. DCS Diamond

      masks have been proven to be incredibly ineffective

      There is only one way to characterize such an ignorant statement: bullshit.

    5. JoePro Guest

      Marked the moment DCS and I agree with something. Huzzah.

      Albeit, the general sentiment in the wake of Omicron specifically (not applicable to original strain or Delta) is that cloth masks were not effective enough. Even CNN had experts on saying they were basically decor, and that Surgical/N95 were necessary

    6. DCS Diamond

      Hey, @JoePro, there is always the first time, and who knows, maybe it is the start of a new understanding!

    7. PJ Guest

      BRAVO STEVE..... WELL SAID!

    8. YULtide Gold

      Especially when worn under the nose or on the chin.

    9. greg99 Gold

      Or, you know, you could actually quit whining and wear the N95 in the manner that is 95% effective.

      God help us if World War III actually starts, because we're all hosed.

    10. platy Guest

      @ Steve

      Educate yourself. It might save you from the embarrassment of making factually incorrect commentary:

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776536

  58. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The British are the leaders in many respects now. Leadership vacuums never go unfilled.

    1. JRG Guest

      I'd disagree - Boris Johnson is hardly a leader of choice. Worth recalling the whole party thing at 10 Downing Street during the height of the non-vaccine pandemic.

    2. Dave Guest

      Gavin Newsom partied and did as he pleased. Didn't wear masks at events where he should have. Survived a recall. People don't care about this kind of thing apparently.

  59. Alonzo Diamond

    Welcome news, a good first step and hopefully others will follow shortly. To those who are saying cases are going up...who cares about cases anymore?

  60. BC Guest

    Congrats to BA for showing leadership. From a purely competitiveness perspective, this will likely force the US government to act before mid April (despite the recently announced extension).

    1. greg99 Gold

      Nobody in the US cares what BA does, especially the US government.

    2. 9volt Member

      Sure I do. If it’s a choice between flying a domestic carrier across the pond, or BA, then I choose BA.

    3. TravelinWilly Diamond

      You should be choosing BA anyway over US carriers.

    4. Scudder Diamond

      The very idea that the US would repeal its already-announced extension for any reason, let alone this silly one, is laughable.

    5. K.C. Cooper Guest

      There is a court case seeking to end the US' mask mandate. Given the judge it's been assigned to, there's a good chance the case succeeds.
      https://courtlistener.com/docket/63009198/van-duyne-v-centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention/

  61. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Very welcome news and with Virgin Atlantic announcing the same I assume inbound flights to the UK from the US masks will not be required.

    1. greg99 Gold

      Not surprisingly for an anti-mask person, your reading comprehension is poor.

      From the blog entry: "masks will still be required on flights to & from the United States."

    2. Self Righteousness Guest

      Greg,
      I don't understand people like you...you claim to wear a mask to protect others because you claim to care about people - Ok makes sense.
      Then I see you commenting rude and mean things to strangers on the internet? Confusing! The two don't add up.
      You will live a very hard life if you continue on this path.

    3. greg99 Gold

      The difference is I *do* care about people. I don't want to potentially kill them. I used to think most people didn't want to kill me, but now I know that the vast majority of people don't care about anyone but themselves.

      As a result, I couldn't possibly care less if a bunch of whiners who are too weak-willed to tolerate wearing a freaking mask get their panties in a twist because I make them read "rude and mean things" about them.

      The truth hurts, buttercup.

  62. Schlingu Guest

    Ben, new infections are going through the roof. Definitely too early.

    1. Bandmeeting Guest

      It’s over two years in. When do you see governments getting control of this airborne virus?

    2. greg99 Gold

      That's precisely the point. They're not getting control anytime soon.

      By any rational analysis, and not the whining of weak-willed individuals who can't tolerate the slightest bit of personal discomfort, we'd all be required to wear N95 masks, because they actually work.

      Too many people are responding to the pandemic that they want to face, not the pandemic that we continue to face.

    3. Timo Gold

      Wrong. Masks are a personal protective device not a group protection. Plenty of research on this now. Check out the latest massive study conducted in Spain which released results last week. Wear a face diaper if you like but leave the rest of us alone with personal neuroses.

    4. greg99 Gold

      Wrong.

      Do your homework and look at the Arkansas study released last week that showed how mask mandates in schools reduced COVID cases dramatically. Or the Duke study that came out that showed that mask mandates in schools reduced infections by 90%.

    5. Your daddy Guest

      Yeah and that is why the per captia death rate is the same regardless of if you are in the free states or one of the socialist lockdown ones? BTW million of people freeing themselves to the south that has been free throughout the entire pandemic. If you are so scared to see someone's face then stay inside for the rest of your life!

    6. JoePro Guest

      So the most "socialist lockdown" state in the U.S would be Cali. AKA "commiefornia" to conservatives.
      The most "free" would be Florida.

      Deaths per million Cali: 2220
      Deaths per million Florida: 3354

      Source: worldometer

      Who's "Your Daddy" now?

    7. E. Guest

      They never will. It is an endemic aerosolised virus. Masks are worthless.

      Treat it like flu and colds. Test if sick. Get vaccinated if vulnerable. End of story. Should have been the way from the off, following well established pandemic plans - but we followed the CCP instead!

    8. Chuck Gold

      A well established pandemic plan? Well, Mr. Coli, that includes safety measures like isolation and physical separation, sanitizing, masks (which DO work, whether you believe it or not), and so on. But can the freedum nuts and knuckledragging science deniers in this country (and on this blog) observe restrictions aimed at protecting the group? Nope, they could, but they won't. Because Merica.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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DCS Diamond

<blockquote>masks have been proven to be incredibly ineffective</blockquote> There is only one way to characterize such an ignorant statement: <b>bullshit</b>.

11
Joe Guest

Masks are so ineffective that even surgeons won't wear them in operating theatres.

8
Steve Diamond

I dont see how anyone can be against this, masks have been proven to be incredibly ineffective. If you still want to wear a cloth mask go ahead, if you still want to improperly wear an n95 mask for the third straight week that has loss all of its effectiveness after one day of use then go ahead. Its time to end covid theatre.

6
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