Dutch airlines confirm they will no longer enforce face mask mandate
Four major Dutch airlines announced this week that, from March 23 onwards, they will no longer enforce the face mask mandate on their planes.
Government lifts mask mandate for public transport in the Netherlands
The news comes as the Dutch government announced the relaxation of the majority of coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands, officially lifting the face mask mandate on public transport. While Health Minister Ernst Kuipers emphasised that face masks would remain mandatory at airports and on flights for the time being, Dutch airlines have taken the decision to relax their own stance on the COVID-19 rules.
Straying slightly from the government’s face mask rules, KLM, Transavia, TUI, and Corendon confirmed that, once the next stage of relaxations come into effect on March 23, they would no longer enforce the face mask rule for passengers on their flights.
Dutch airlines refuse to enforce COVID-19 rule on flights
The airlines explained that, as more and more restrictions are lifted, it becomes increasingly difficult for their staff members to explain and enforce the face mask mandate. "It can no longer be explained or defended. This has recently led to an increase in aggression towards our crew and other passengers,” TUI said.
KLM, TUI, and Transavia have all said they continue to urgently encourage passengers to wear masks while onboard, but staff will not intervene should a passenger refuse to wear a mask. The companies have all expressed their disappointment in the government’s decision to lift the mandate for public transport but not for flights: "There is better air quality in planes than in trains," a spokesperson for TUI explained.