A new trend has emerged in the ever-changing world of travel during the pandemic: A handful of airlines have issued specific mask requirements while onboard.
Finnair, Lufthansa, and Air France have all announced they will require passengers to wear a medical-grade mask on all flights.
The accepted masks for travel on these airlines are either a surgical mask, an FFP2, FFP3, or a KN95/N95. These masks cannot be a valve type, which allows air to flow out unfiltered like those designed for industrial uses.
Starting 16 August, we will no longer accept fabric masks on our flights. We accept surgical masks, FFP2 or FFP3 respirator masks without a valve or other valve free masks with the same standard (N95). Please remember you need to wear a mask throughout the entire journey. pic.twitter.com/Am4SxtT1G3
— Finnair (@Finnair) August 13, 2021
Many airlines and airports have already banned wearing neck gaiters and bandanas as masks. But until recently, most have allowed any handmade or cloth mask as long as it effectively covers both the nose and mouth.
This new trend of requiring medical-grade masks could signal a shift toward higher requirements for mask standards in the airline industry.
The mask policy alone is not a significant shift and is likely easily remedied. However, it’s another sign that travel has not settled back into the stable industry it once was.
Be sure to check current entry requirements, flight requirements, and general travel requirements in the run-up to traveling. While this can be a chore, it could save some pretty significant headaches as well.