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TRAVELLING TO FRANCE

EU to make face masks compulsory on all European flights for passengers aged 6 and over

Children 6 and over and all adults will have to wear face masks on all European flights after EU transport ministers agreed new security measures to battle the spread of coronavirus.

EU to make face masks compulsory on all European flights for passengers aged 6 and over
Photo: AFP

The EU Transport Ministers reached agreement on various health measures to be imposed on board aircraft flying over the continent, as well as at airports.

Ministers agreed that the wearing of masks will be obligatory for anyone aged over six.

Other measures agreed by ministers during a video-conference included obligations for airlines to disinfect aircraft more often and to enforce safe distances, even if this results in long queues at airports.

Most airlines already make it mandatory for passengers to wear face masks while boarding planes and whilst on board the aircraft, but children have often been exempt.

Masks are also compulsory in many airports including in France, which made the coverings obligatory in all public indoor spaces for anyone aged over 11.

Airlines issue strict rules on wearing masks and warn passengers they will be refused entry to planes if they do not comply.

To ensure full safety whilst wearing a mask, airline easyJet says masks should be replaced every four hours.

A statement on the website said: “Protective face masks should typically be replaced every four hours, or if they become wet or soiled, so please ensure that you have an adequate supply for you and anyone else travelling with you for the entire duration of your journey.”

European countries are battling to prevent a resurgence of coronavirus cases with countries like Spain, France and Belgium all seeing a rise in cases in recent days.

Switzerland, while not a member of the EU, has had a compulsory mask requirement on all flights since early July. 

 

 

 

 

Member comments

  1. I was expecting my temper to be checked when I flew from Limoges to East Midlands on the 2nd July. This didn’t happen at both ends, My husband just flew from Limoges to Manchester and he had no temperature checks either, My contact details were scrutinized but husband was waved on. Any particular reason why security were so lapse?

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TRAVEL NEWS

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Two major changes that were due to come into force in 2022 for travellers entering the EU - an enhanced passport scanning system and the introduction of a €7 visa for tourists - have been delayed for a year.

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Although both the EES and ETIAS schemes are still due to be introduced in the European Commission has pushed back the start dates for both until 2023.

It comes amid a chaotic summer for travel in Europe, with airports struggling with staff shortages and strikes while some crossings from the UK to France have been hit by long delays as extra post-Brexit checks are performed during the peak holiday season. 

The two separate changes to travel in the EU and Schengen zone were originally due to come into effect in 2020, but were delayed because of the pandemic. Now the EES system is expected to come into effect in May 2023, while ETIAS will come into effect in November 2023. 

The EES – Entry and Exit System – is essentially enhanced passport scanning at the EU’s borders and means passports will not only be checked for ID and security, but also for entry and exit dates, in effect tightening up enforcement of the ’90 day rule’ that limits the amount of time non-EU citizens can spend in the Bloc without having a visa.

It will not affect non-EU citizens who live in an EU country with a residency permit or visa.

There have been concerns that the longer checks will make transiting the EU’s external borders slower, a particular problem at the UK port of Dover, where the infrastructure is already struggling to cope with enhanced post-Brexit checks of people travelling to France.

You can read a full explanation of EES, what it is and who is affects HERE.

The ETIAS system will apply to all non-EU visitors to an EU country – eg tourists, second-home owners, those making family visits and people doing short-term work.

It will involve visitors registering in advance for a visa and paying a €7 fee. The visa will be valid for three years and can be used for multiple trips – essentially the system is very similar to the ESTA visa required for visitors to the USA. 

Residents of an EU country who have a residency card or visa will not need one.

You can read the full details on ETIAS, how it works and who it affects HERE.

Both systems will apply only to people who do not have citizenship of an EU country – for example Brits, Americans, Australians and Canadians – and will be used only at external EU/Schengen borders, so it won’t be required when travelling between France and Germany, for example. 

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