On Monday, March 14, two prominent British airports named British airlines and London’s Heathrow Airport announced that they plan to lift their obligation to wear the mask on airport premises over the next month.
The change in policy followed news from the United Kingdom that it would lift the remainder of its travel restrictions this week, including coronavirus testing requirements for unvaccinated visitors.
In a Monday news release, Heathrow announced that it would drop its mask requirement from Wednesday but still “strongly encourages” passengers at the airport to continue to cover their faces “in recognition that the pandemic may be slowing down.” It’s not over.”
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic made statements to Heathrow that they would follow suit. British Airways Chief Operating Officer Jason Mahoney said in a statement that starting Wednesday, passengers on the carrier’s flights will only be required to wear masks if their destination requires it.
Jet2 became the first British airline to remove its mask requirement two weeks ago, stating that it is no longer legally required. The British government issued a ban on transport in late February.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced Monday that the U.K. would no longer require coronavirus tests or passenger locator forms from travelers starting on Friday at 4 a.m. Britain previously scrapped testing requirements for vaccinated travelers last month.
The U.K. joins several European neighbours that recently nixed all entry requirements. Ireland dropped all covid travel restrictions on March 6, and Iceland and Norway did in February.
The U.K. rule change comes despite an uptick in covid cases. According to tracking data compiled by The Post through Monday afternoon, Britain saw a 15 percent increase in daily instances over the last week, with 689 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.