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Mask Wearing onboard scrapped

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Mask Wearing onboard scrapped

Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:20
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Mask Wearing onboard scrapped

Left Lanzarote on Mon 28th via RYR on a flight to EDI. Mask wearing on board was the order of the day.
The purpose of the visit was to visit my Mother in a care home, where she had recently been placed.

In order to gain access to the Care Home on a daily basis, a new Antigen test had to be produced. This was provided over the 4 successive days of visiting by both myself and partner.

We then headed for a 2 night stay with friends prior to flying back. One of our friends has health issues, so we opted to continue testing right up to the last day, when the offered to run us to NCL for our flight home.
When we boarded the TUI flight, we were surprised to see that not a single person was wearing a mask. When asking a flight attendant, we were told that the rule had been changed from Obligatory to Advisory for England and NI.

Having taken all possible measures to avoid Covid for the previous 2 years in Lanzarote, a fairly low level Covid Area, having taken an Antigen test every day in both Scotland and England, and departing from one of the most infected countries in Europe,
I was rather taken aback !

During the fully packed flight, there was coughing and sneezing going on up and down the aircraft and the queues for the toilet were the biggest I had ever seen. Up to 14 at the rear and up to 6 at the front.

5 days after our return, I woke up feeling a bit lousy and decided to take another Antigen Test. I was hardly surprised to test positive for Covid.
I then got my partner to repeat the process on herself. No surprise to find that she tested positive also. We had been in touch with no one since our return.

I was absolutely furious, bearing in mind the stringent measures the Spanish Government had kept in place throughout the worst of the pandemic, compared to the lackadaisical approach taken by the English Government.
I say "English" as Scotland still had obligatory mask wearing in place. If the flight had left Scotland, all of the pax would be obliged to wear masks.

Bearing in mind the unique circumstances of our visit, which meant that we tested every single day, there is little doubt that we both contracted Covid during the 4hr+ coughing, sneezing, queueing, non-mask wearing flight to ACE.

I can understand the relaxing of masks wearing in well ventilated spaces, but dropping the requirement in aircraft seems utterly ridiculous.

I can only assume that the decision was a commercial one, taken in order to encourage increased pax numbers over the forthcoming Easter Period.

Travel at your peril !! (or fly from Scotland)

El Grifo
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:29
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I've been flying around the world for decades and always expect to pick up some sort of bug on a long-ish flight; especially in the winter. The only difference is that now we can test for one specific bug. If you want to wear a mask for the rest of your life, nobody is stopping you.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:37
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Well Flyingfemme, I imagined even schoolchildren knew by now that mask wearing was to prevent the spread of Covid, not to prevent receiving it.


The again, there is always one who slips through the flimsy net of comprehension !

(Is what you say, something many suspected, that the much vaunted HEPA filters are useless in the prevention of infection spread)

El Grifo
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:38
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El Grifo

Why am I not surprised? England has decided that Covid-19 is over and was nothing more than a bad dream. The English public has taken this message to heart and precautions, away from medical services such as primary and secondary care, including dentists, opticians and their like, where mask wearing is still obligatory, mask wearers, outside of the Chinese and Japanese communities, have become very hard to find when using public transport.

Personally I wear a KN95 / FFP2 grade mask when travelling on public transport and absolutely would wear the same grade mask on board an aircraft, whether or not it was required or voluntary. As the great British public are by and large extremely selfish, not to mention, on the whole, pretty dim, it would not surprise me in the least if people brazenly flew with Covid-19 symptoms, without testing, because in the scheme of things their two weeks in the Canary Islands are more important to them than potentially spreading the virus, and to that end, they are more than happy to pass their infection around, rather than at least wear a basic (medical grade) face covering whilst on the aircraft since it would present them with a minor inconvenience.

I hope your infection, and that of your partner, is as mild as mine was (I received as a Christmas present from a guest and my daughter's Christmas lunch!!). There are no guarantees; my sister has had a much worse bout that I did, and 2 weeks on is still testing positive, and has lost senses of smell and taste, and is suffering tiredness. All with no underlying conditions, and double vaxxed plus booster. She probably caught hers courtesy of Jet2 (or at least one of their passengers), with whom she travelled shortly after their mask rules were lifted.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:40
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Well Flyingfemme, I imagined even schoolchildren knew by now that mask wearing was to prevent the spread of Covid, not to prevent receiving it.

The again, there is always one who slips through the flimsy net of comprehension !

El Grifo
As I mentioned, the public aren't the brightest. During the height of the Delta variant I challenged someone who was in a shop and wasn't wearing a mask. His response was that he had been vaccinated so didn't need to. Stupid, ignorant or both?
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:55
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Covid is rife around my neck of the woods, but very few are taking precautions.

At my wife's office, seven out of the twelve employees have it.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 12:59
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Talking

We are knocking on a bit ATNotts and our booster is reaching the end of it's efficacy. Ironically, we were called in for out 4th jab in a couple of days, April 13th.

That said, we are both suffering something akin to a heavy bout of flu, painful throats, tiredness and a cough. We will get through it !

Something that has always hacked me off about the UK rules, they go from "mandatory" when people are effectively obliged to wear a mask, to "highly recommended", when no none gives a toss !

Forgot to mention, that as well as the cacophony of coughs and sneezes on board, one spotty youth was seen running down the aisle to the toilets, barging through the queue leaving vomit trailing behind him !!

Air travel ain't what it used to be :-)

El G.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 13:08
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
We are knocking on a bit ATNotts and our booster is reaching the end of it's efficacy. Ironically, we were called in for out 4th jab in a couple of days, April 13th.

That said, we are both suffering something akin to a heavy bout of flu, painful throats, tiredness and a cough. We will get through it !

Something that has always hacked me off about the UK rules, they go from "mandatory" when people are effectively obliged to wear a mask, to "highly recommended", when no none gives a toss !

Forgot to mention, that as well as the cacophony of coughs and sneezes on board, one spotty youth was seen running down the aisle to the toilets, barging through the queue leaving vomit trailing behind him !!

Air travel ain't what it used to be :-)

El G.
From your profile, only a little more than me!!

The problem with the English approach was that right from the start it was very difficult to understand what was advice, what was guidance and what was mandatory. This was made all the worse because where stuff, such as mask wearing was mandatory nobody, not retailers, not transport providers and most certainly not the police (transport or otherwise) was prepared to act firmly against people not wearing face coverings. Nobody got kicked of a bus or train, or refused access to a supermarket because the UK as a whole is just to airy-fairy. And that is before people got away with self certifying that they were medically exempt from wearing masks.

When you look at it it is hardly surprising the UK has had one of the highest death rates of / with Covid in the developed world.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 14:21
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By this logic, mask wearing must remain for the foreseeable future, until a real cure. Now if you're 71 years old and feel you need the rest of us masked up for the rest of our lives to stop you getting COVID, let me say clearly that's not going to happen. It just isn't. So by all means mask up and tell the rest of us we're awful if it makes you feel better but this pantomime is ending, COVID is if not already, then about to be endemic and we have to get on with our lives.
The zero COVID option is forever lost, go look at Shanghai and tell me otherwise.
And if you don't feel safe flying due to YOUR vulnerability and relative ill health, then YOU should not be flying. Park your arse somewhere safe by the sea and live out your days, but leave the rest of the healthy human race to have their time in the sun. And don't even start me on the circus of masking up kids......!
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 14:21
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Not much to argue with there Sr.Dangle.
I normally utilise the Standard blue masks here as required by law, but for the flights I used the KN 95's, correctly worn of course.
Do I understand correctly that only a small percentage of people were wearing masks in Tenerife. If so this is fine for outside. As far as restaurants an supermarkets etc, you would not get in the door without one.
It is generally only the tourists who try.
Tenerife, because of it's greater capacity for tourism, has by far the greatest incidences of covid wheras here in Lanzarote we currently have one of the lowest.
That number has just sadly increased by 2 !!

El Grifo
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 14:36
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Surely the wearing of masks helps to reduce the spread of Covid - it doesn't prevent it. There has always been the 'get out clause' of removing said coverings when eating or drinking - and I have heard of some people stretching their meal out to last the majority of a flight.

My understanding is that for years the Japanese have worn face coverings to help reduce spreading any respiratory infections that they may have - ie as a courtesy to other people on trains/buses/aircraft and the majority of us in the west used to think they were a bit strange wandering around London with masks on pre-Covid. The period of being kind and looking after other people that prevailed during the lockdowns seems to have sadly evaporated and the 'sod you, I'm alright Jack. I've been jabbed' attitude seems to have taken over.

Having said that, I have always found that historically after any flight over about 2 hours I normally ended up with a sore throat/runny nose a day afterwards due to being in a pressurised tube with 100+ other people, at least one of which had some sort of cold. Maybe the new generation of aircraft with a reduction in re-circulated air helps ?

I came back from the Canaries in mid-March with TUI the day after they had changed face coverings to advisory from mandatory and I estimate about 50% of people still wore one (I still had a sore throat the day after flying on the 738) - the slightly farcical site was people disembarking the aircraft and putting a face covering ON as Gatwick stil required all passengers to wear one !

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Old 11th Apr 2022, 15:14
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Opposite way around here tourops :-)
The sight of people fumbling for the generally near at hand masks when disembarking at ACE, brought a wry smile to my face.
That of course being before I learned I had contracted the beast.
Regarding sore throats, when I used to shoot long haul destinations for the UK Tour Operators, I would always spend a night in a UK airport hotel prior to heading out the following day..
Within a short time, I would develop a throat prob which sometimes moved into my chest. I always travelled with a batch of anti-biotics which were the only thing to shift it !
I always blamed the flight, until after a process of deduction, established that the infection came from the phone used to call the courtesy bus ftom the Hotel.
I used taxi's after that.
Never had the problem again :-)

Live and Learn
El G.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 15:31
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It was fairly obvious (to me at least) that once mask restrictions were lifted in the community, levels of infect would go through the roof, which they have. It should have been fairly obvious to the airlines what was going to happen when they scraped the wearing of masks on board,,,,,,,,,

Easter flight cancellations to continue for days
By Katy Austin & Michael Race Transport correspondent
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60990119

GROUNDED Nearly 100 more flights cancelled today from UK airports as experts warn summer will be WORSE for Brits
Kara Godfrey 10:30, 11 Apr 2022Updated: 14:10, 11 Apr 2022
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/1822...olidy-warning/

They only have themselves to blame.


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Old 11th Apr 2022, 16:05
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
It was fairly obvious (to me at least) that once mask restrictions were lifted in the community, levels of infect would go through the roof, which they have. It should have been fairly obvious to the airlines what was going to happen when they scraped the wearing of masks on board,,,,,,,,,

Easter flight cancellations to continue for days
By Katy Austin & Michael Race Transport correspondent
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60990119

GROUNDED Nearly 100 more flights cancelled today from UK airports as experts warn summer will be WORSE for Brits
Kara Godfrey 10:30, 11 Apr 2022Updated: 14:10, 11 Apr 2022
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/1822...olidy-warning/

They only have themselves to blame.
It was more than fairly obvious to most people with a brain larger than an amoeba. If KN95 / FFP2 masks had been made a requirement for public transport, including aircraft (and properly enforced), then very probably we wouldn't be where we are now.

For as long as the variant in circulation remains as benign as Omicron is, aside for the very clinically vulnerable, society as a whole will probably get away with it, aside of minor inconveniences such as unreliable air services, unbearable delays at airports etc. If the next variant is more severe then we will be in deep pooh.

Skipness One Foxtrot:-

The selfish tenor of that posting - basically "I'm alright Jack" is so indicative of the "me me me" society that is now prevalent in UK.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 16:55
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Mask wearing whilst using air travel has been a farce for nearly 18 months so no point in getting worked up about it now.

My son had to travel on business throughout some of the pandemic. Whilst queuing to check in, the one metre rule was strictly enforced with regard to those standing ahead and behind - but not side by side! He regularly ended up standing cheek by jowl with others lining up for other check in desks. Not that it mattered because once on the flight he sat in close proximity to complete strangers for 3 hours plus anyway.

When the traffic light system was introduced and being operated at a major U.K. airport, travellers from amber and green destinations were kept separate from red ones - until 10pm - when they were all put together in the same holding area.

I guess the theory is Covid only travels forwards or backwards and definitely not late at night?
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 17:00
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Me me me

Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
By this logic, mask wearing must remain for the foreseeable future, until a real cure. Now if you're 71 years old and feel you need the rest of us masked up for the rest of our lives to stop you getting COVID, let me say clearly that's not going to happen. It just isn't. So by all means mask up and tell the rest of us we're awful if it makes you feel better but this pantomime is ending, COVID is if not already, then about to be endemic and we have to get on with our lives.
The zero COVID option is forever lost, go look at Shanghai and tell me otherwise.
And if you don't feel safe flying due to YOUR vulnerability and relative ill health, then YOU should not be flying. Park your arse somewhere safe by the sea and live out your days, but leave the rest of the healthy human race to have their time in the sun. And don't even start me on the circus of masking up kids......!
I take it you have not had a close family member suffer badly from this disease? I also personally know two captains who have lost their Class Ones because of long term after effects which show no sign of getting better. More than half of our staff are off sick at the moment. If senior, experienced U.K. doctors are saying they will continue to wear a mask, preferably FFP3 ones, in crowded places then Im inclined to follow what they do. The voluntary status of infection control in the U.K. at the moment appears to be purely politically driven.
A couple of posters have pointed out that the majority of the British public are selfish and dim, they are absolutely right.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 20:13
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Can anyone tell me if EZY have dropped the Mask Wearing Rule. I have friends returning from Iceland via LGW tomorrow, the last leg being flown by EZY.
Having heard of our plight they are rather nervous about the prospect of going through the same !
I have scanned the Website, bit it is a little ambiguous!
El G.

Last edited by El Grifo; 11th Apr 2022 at 20:23.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 20:32
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The national law allowing general mask mandates in Germany expired 11 days ago. Case numbers have dropped since. There are still many people wearing them voluntarily in the supermarket etc but it's not mandatory at most places outside care homes and public transport. I'm fairly certain that people get infected mostly in private situations where they would not have to wear a mask anyways such as meeting friends at home, in the bar or restaurant. Birthday parties, weddings funerals etc. I don't think one is very likely to get infected while grocery shopping unless someone sneezes or coughs in your face. Airplanes are a bit different. The masks may well offer some protection against transmission form those in close proximity but what's the point if all masks come off as soon as drinks and food are served? I think two years in and with a relatively harmless but very contagious variant such as this omicron BA-2 as the dominant strain, it's probably not the worst time to drop mask mandates. Unless we are happy to wear them forever. I'm not. With vaccines no longer providing the hoped for levels of long lasting protection from infection and transmission we probably have to get natural immunity into the mix. Now is a good time, I think. I got COVID early on and had a mild case of it, subsequently got vaccinated and boostered and am no longer afraid of this virus. Those who are, rightly or wrongly, should adjust their behavior accordingly. Someone mentioned deaths from/with Covid. I'm not suggesting that these numbers are completely irrelevant but with the current variant which is so prevalent across all age groups it's only logical that many who die for whatever reason will also carry the virus. Now more than ever it seems important to make the distinction between dying from or dying with COVID. And before anyone mentions it again, I am aware that there are people that suffer serious complications short of death. But trying to avoid this virus forever is not going to work. It would just delay the inevitable. Look at China.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 20:34
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El Grifo, according to the easyJet crew site, you do not need to wear a mask between Iceland and the UK. You may wear one if you wish.
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Old 11th Apr 2022, 22:43
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Thanks Redsnail ! That however my friends already know from the inbound leg to Iceland. Most were complying.
The concern is with the LGW-ACE leg, a departure from one of Europe's most infected areas !
Any info on that.
El Grifo
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