Qantas says passengers can soon travel without masks on some of its international flights, though it remains mandatory on domestic flights.
The Qantas Group said in a statement that it “intends to soon update” their onboard mask policy.
“We’ll continue to make masks available on board all our flights and appreciate that some customers may wish to continue wearing them for the duration of their journey regardless of the international rules that apply,” the Qantas Group statement reads.
This would mean wearing masks will no longer be required for passengers travelling to destinations where they are not mandatory, including the United States and Europe.
This comes after the recommendation from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) to remove mask mandates for airports, and travellers no longer being required to wear one in terminals starting from midnight on Friday 17 June.
The committee said they consider the mandate to be “no longer proportionate” after mask rules were relaxed in all states and territories and masks are now optional in most other public settings.
The federal government did note the AHPPC also advised people continue to wear masks in airport terminals and other indoor settings, particularly where they cannot physically distance.
“The government notes the AHPPC has strongly recommended Australians continue to wear masks as a key measure to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 and influenza,” they said in a statement.
“Masks help us protect the most vulnerable in our community who are unable to get vaccinated and people who have a higher risk of developing severe illness.”
With mask mandates being different in each country, passengers may still need to wear masks on some legs of their journeys
“We appreciate some of our customers may find mask requirements confusing, particularly when they have connecting flights, and we’re doing our best to help them prepare for their flights,” a Qantas spokesman said.
Qantas still requires international travellers to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination.