BA and Virgin Atlantic change mask policy

By Linsey McNeill
Home » BA and Virgin Atlantic change mask policy

Virgin Atlantic will allow passengers on flights to and from the Caribbean to go mask-less from Wednesday.

The airline said that from 16 March passengers on flights to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago can ‘make a personal choice’ whether to wear a mask.

The new policy will also apply to crew.

British Airways said this week that it is will also only require passengers to wear masks from Wednesday if the destination they’re flying to requires it, but it hasn’t yet specified which routes this will apply to.

Virgin warned that passengers may be asked to wear a mask when boarding or disembarking flights, according to country or airport regulations. For instance, masks will still be required prior to disembarking in Caribbean destinations as they remain an airport requirement throughout the islands.

While Heathrow Airport will no longer require passengers to wear masks from Wednesday, Manchester Airport ‘strongly recommends’ passengers continue to wear face coverings.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Customer & Operating Officer Corneel Koster said: “As we learn to live with Covid and with the legal requirement to wear a face mask now removed in England, we believe our customers should have the personal choice whether to wear a mask onboard, on routes where international regulations around mask-wearing do not apply.

“This policy will be introduced gradually, beginning with our Caribbean services from Heathrow and Manchester airports and we encourage everyone to be respectful of fellow passengers’ mask preferences.”

Masks will still be required on Virgin’s flights to and from the US, for all passengers from the age of two, until at least 18 April due to local regulations.

Current Scottish Government rules mean masks must still be worn by customers aged 12 and above travelling on services from Edinburgh Airport, from where Virgin will start flying to Orlando on 13 April.

Masks must also still be worn by passengers from the age of 12 on Virgin’s flights to and from Delhi, Islamabad, Johannesburg, Lahore, Lagos, Mumbai, Shanghai and  Tel Aviv.

Virgin said that it’s ‘cabin environment is safe and controlled’ with air filtered through High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that remove dust, allergens, bacteria, viruses and other particles, refreshing cabin air completely every 2-3 minutes.

“We will continue to carefully monitor Covid-19 and will adjust our policies if and when required,” it added.

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