The current mouth cap obligation runs until April 18. Due to increasing corona infections in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to extend the federal mask mandate for at least two weeks.
Meanwhile, 85 percent of the infections concern the BA.2 subvariiant of the Omikron variant. It is not yet known to what extent hospital admissions and deaths from this variant have increased, according to the CDC.
At the end of March, the CEOs of the ten largest American airlines wrote a joint letter to President Biden, in which they called on him to end the mask obligation on board aircraft. In the letter, they wrote that travelers should have the freedom to decide for themselves whether they wear a mask.
“It makes no sense that people still have to wear masks on airplanes, with their good ventilation systems, while at the same time they are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants without a mask. They also pointed out that a significant proportion of the population has been vaccinated and that death rates have fallen sharply.
Due to European rules, the Netherlands is still holding on to the masking obligation in aircraft for the time being, but KLM and several other Dutch airlines no longer enforce this obligation on flights according to the country’s vote. This applies, among other things, to flights to England, which has lifted the mask obligation.