The Lufthansa Group has announced that it will be tightening its mask policy from 1 September.
The group, which includes Lufthansa German Airlines, SWISS and Austrian Airlines, as well as budget carrier Eurowings, was one of the first to make wearing masks on board mandatory in May.
The only exception was young children as well as those with certain medical conditions, who were required to provide a medical certificate completed by their doctor.
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But from 1 September, those with medical conditions that require them to be mask-free must supply a completed medical certificate as well as a negative Covid-19 test, taken no later than 48 hours before departure, in order to be exempt from wearing a face covering on board flights.
The airline group said: “This ensures maximum safety for the passengers travelling with them.”
It comes as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched an appeal to all passengers to wear masks on board flights in response to recent reports of people refusing to do so.
The association said that while the incidents only concern a few individuals, some incidents have become violent, resulting in costly and extremely inconvenient diversions to offload these passengers.
It added that face coverings are a key recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) guidance for safe operations during the pandemic, which has been developed jointly with the World Health Organization and governments.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “This is a call for common sense and taking responsibility. The vast majority of travellers understand the importance of face covering both for themselves as well as for their fellow passengers, and airlines appreciate this collective effort. But a small minority create problems.
“Safety is at the core of aviation, and compliance with crew safety instructions is the law. Failure to comply can jeopardize a flight’s safety, disrupt the travel experience of other passengers and impact the work environment for crew.”
Delta has recently revealed that it’s blacklisted over 100 passengers for refusing to wear masks on board.
Recently an entire flight was forced to deplane after a two-year-old refused to wear a mask.
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