BA and Virgin drop transatlantic mask requirement following US ruling

By Lisa James
Home » BA and Virgin drop transatlantic mask requirement following US ruling

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have confirmed they are making mask wearing a ‘personal choice’ on transatlantic flights following the ruling yesterday by a US judge that in-flight masks were unlawful.

Virgin said the change is ‘with immediate effect’ and applies to flights between the UK and the US from Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Its partner, Delta Air Lines, has also adjusted its policy.

Customers may be asked to wear a mask when boarding or disembarking flights, according to the regulations of the departure or arrival airport or destination country or US state.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “Following the ruling of a United States district court judge on Monday 18 April, the Biden administration has announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will no longer enforce the federal mandate requiring masks onboard aircraft.

“Effective immediately, masks will be a personal choice for our customers and people travelling in either direction between the UK and the United States.

“This aligns with our existing mask policy on routes where international regulations around mask-wearing do not apply, such as between the UK and the Caribbean.

“We encourage everyone to be respectful of fellow passengers’ mask preferences and across our network, we continue to adhere to all regulatory requirements, recognising that mask requirements differ by market.”

British Airways confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that it was also changing its transatlantic mask policy.

A spokesperson said: “Customers and colleagues aren’t required to wear a mask on board our US flights from today. It will now be a personal choice so we ask everyone to respect each other’s preferences.”

See more from Virgin on in-flight masks here.

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