The 23 countries that have scrapped all mask rules

The mask slips. After two years of hidden faces and hushed conversations, mask rules are scrapped across the world.

Most of the UK ditched the divisive face covering back in January, sparking something of a domino effect. Norway and Denmark quickly followed, as did a group of Eastern European countries. Low-key Scotland recently joined the club, the US is now mask-free (thanks in part to the invention of a Florida judge on planes and trains), and – as of May 16 – France has scrapped all of its rules.

Elsewhere, the rules have been relaxed significantly. In Spain, for example, where masks were once required outdoors, they are now only required on public transport and in hospitals. The same rules apply in Portugal and Belgium.

But not every nation is so keen on ditching face coverings.

Greece, for example, will require masks in most indoor spaces until at least June 1.

Italy requires until at least April 15.

In Austria too, FFP2 masks are still mandatory in some public spaces, such as supermarkets.

Wearing a medical mask remains a legal requirement in Germany in retail and on public transport, depending on the region you are visiting.

In Turkey, although they were used in environments with sufficient space and ventilation, such as B. restaurants, dropped, but they remain in more densely populated venues such as cinemas and concert halls and on public transport.

Masks are still widely available outside of Europe, with Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba, St. Lucia and Barbados among the holiday hotspots that maintain strict rules.

So what are the options for those hoping for a completely mask-free holiday? Here’s our comprehensive guide.

23 countries that have scrapped all mask rules*


What about the Nordic nations? All have been reluctant to restrict their citizens’ freedoms for the duration of the pandemic – with Sweden famously eschewing lockdowns altogether and its neighbors only shutting down society for a short time – and all five have now scrapped their masks.

Elsewhere, too, Eastern European countries were quickly returning to normal – something predicted when Telegraph Travel polled a panel of experts earlier this year.

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Croatia
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Hungary
  9. Iceland
  10. Ireland
  11. Lithuania
  12. Netherlands (except airports)
  13. Norway
  14. Poland
  15. Romania
  16. Slovenia
  17. Sweden
  18. Switzerland

rest of the world

While the list below is not exhaustive – the latest rules can be difficult to find and we’ve focused our research on popular holiday destinations – nations outside of Europe have been much slower to phase out their mask rules.

  1. Aruba
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. Jamaica
  4. Maldives
  5. United States of America

*With the possible exception of hospitals and nursing homes.

Five countries where masks are only required on public transport**

Health facilities aside, trains, planes and buses appear to be the last places masks are moving. Portugal and Spain are among the countries that maintain their use of public transport.

  1. Belgium
  2. Latvia
  3. Montenegro
  4. Portugal
  5. Spain

**As well as hospitals and nursing homes.

How long is it compulsory to wear masks on planes?

Rules vary by airline and final destination. Additionally, official airline guidelines sometimes seem different from what is actually happening in the sky. In short, it’s complicated – and you might want to keep a mask in your carry-on just in case.

To keep it simple, Jet2 and Tui have eliminated all mask requirements. “It’s no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask in our airports or on board our planes,” says Jet2. “However, in line with UK Government guidelines, we recommend that you continue to wear a face mask in these spaces and you may be required to wear one when you arrive at your overseas destination.”

Other airlines such as BA, Virgin, EasyJet and Ryanair are still enforcing masks on flights to destinations that maintain some mask rules.

EasyJet no longer requires a face covering on flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland and Poland These countries have abolished their national mask rules.

Ryanair has listed 14 EU countries where masks are still mandatory: Austria, Latvia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Estonia, Luxembourg, France, Malta, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain. The list is a bit confusing as France and Lithuania have all scrapped their mask rules.

This article will be updated with the latest information. The 23 countries that have scrapped all mask rules

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