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IATA hails reduced travel restrictions as UK airlines ditch mask

Nigerian passengers and others travelling on UK airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to and from London would no longer require to use a face…

Nigerian passengers and others travelling on UK airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to and from London would no longer require to use a face mask on board as both airlines and a number of UK carriers have abolished the mask mandate.

This followed the government’s announcement that all COVID-19 travel measures will end on Friday even as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed what it called, “the increasing momentum towards reopening borders and relaxation of travel restrictions.

Daily Trust reports that the mask mandate has been in place in the UK as a containment measure for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the airline industry, many passengers were mandated to use masks throughout their stay in-flight.

But with the UK restriction, masks would no longer be required for passengers entering London in line with the UK government’s announcement.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said the decision to remove all the restrictions was to allow “greater freedom in time for Easter,” noting people can now travel “like in the good old days.”

British Airways Chief Operating Officer, Jason Mahoney, in a statement said the move was “a positive step forward”.

The airline said: “As an international airline, we fly to a large number of countries around the world, all of which have their own local restrictions and legal requirements.”

Virgin Atlantic on its part said while it welcomed the government’s move, the face mask would only be required in countries where the requirement has not been scrapped.

Meanwhile, IATA has welcomed the increasing momentum towards reopening of borders and relaxation of travel restrictions, as COVID-19 moves into the endemic phase.

It said the easing of measures reflects the growing consensus that travel restrictions such as border closures and quarantine do little to control the spread of COVID-19.

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