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Mask rules ditched for flyers in Europe

Australians travelling in Europe this northern spring will no longer have to wear masks at airports or on planes.

The European Union says from Monday masks will no longer be required at European airports and on planes, amid the widespread easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the continent.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said it hoped ditching masks would mark “a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel”.

The change was made after considering vaccination levels and naturally acquired immunity, as well as the lifting of restrictions in a growing number of European countries.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky cautioned that passengers should still behave responsibly.

“A passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby,” he said.

The new recommendations take effect from Monday, but rules for masks may vary by airline if they fly to or from destinations where the rules are different.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:

NSW: 12,600 new cases, 23 deaths, 1403 in hospital with 56 in ICU

Victoria: 14,333 new cases, 15 deaths, 545 in hospital with 29 in ICU

Queensland: 7271 new cases, three deaths, 437 in hospital with 16 in ICU

Tasmania: 1058 new cases, one death, 42 in hospital with one in ICU

Western Australia: 16,670 new cases, six deaths, 275 in hospital with eight in ICU

South Australia: 4696 new cases, seven deaths, 210 in hospital with seven in ICU

NT: 323 new cases, no deaths, 18 in hospital with none in ICU.

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