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Qantas plans to lift mask mandates on some international flights



Qantas is planning to allow travellers on some international flights without masks despite face coverings remaining mandatory on domestic services.

It comes as mask mandates in terminals will lift from Saturday after an Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommendation yesterday.

Travellers will still be required to wear masks on all flights, however, the AHPPC said it will issue further advice on this in the future.

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Qantas welcomed the AHPPC recommendation and called for the next step to be removing mask mandates onboard flights.

"Global studies show the risk of transmission inside aircraft cabins is very low due to the air being refreshed every few minutes, in addition to forward facing seats and HEPA filters which capture 99 per cent of airborne particles," Qantas said in a statement.

"The Qantas Group intends to soon update our onboard mask policy for international flights to align with the rules at the destination."

Masks are no longer mandatory on flights to the US, UK and Europe and Qantas plans to lift the face-covering requirements to these destinations.

However, mask mandates are different in each country, meaning travellers may need to wear a mask on one part of their journey but not another.

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Qantas acknowledged these variable mask rules may cause confusion for customers, especially with connecting flights, and have called on governments for more consistency.

"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," Qantas said.

Qantas still requires all international travellers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination on flights.

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