Lufthansa is changing the facemask requirements on its flights effective February 1, 2021.
You need to wear a surgical mask or a professional standard (FFP2/KN95/N95) one. Masks with valves, cloth masks, face shields, scarves and shawls are no longer acceptable.
You can access Lufthansa’s page for the mask policy here.
You can still travel without a mask by getting a letter from a physician and providing a negative Covid-19 PCRT-RT test that is not older than 48 hours.
Here’s the update:
Adjustment of the facemask obligation as of 1 February
Lufthansa is adapting the obligation to wear mouth-nose covers while travelling. From 1 February 2021, only facemasks of the following standards will be permitted on flights to and from Germany: FFP2, KN95 and N95 standard or surgical masks. These have to be worn during boarding, on board and when leaving the aircraft. Masks made of fabric will no longer be permitted, visors and masks with valves have not been permitted already. Thus, in order to protect the health of all passengers and employees, the Lufthansa Group Airlines are taking up the regulation the German federal states have issued on 19 January 2021.
Exceptions to this regulation can still be made for health reasons. An exception will only be accepted, if the passenger can present a current (not older than 48 hours) negative Covid-19 test result in connection with a medical certificate on the Lufthansa Group form.
Does every passenger on board have to wear a mask?
Yes – it is mandatory for all passengers and crew to wear masks that fully cover the nose and mouth. From 1 February 2021, on all flights to and from Germany facemasks of the FFP2, KN95 or N95 standard, as well as surgical masks, are obligatory:
- when boarding
- on board
- when leaving the aircraft
The only exceptions to this rule are children under six years of age and persons who are not able to wear a mask for medical reasons.
We will only accept an exemption to the compulsory wearing of a mask on presentation of an approved negative Covid-19 PCR test result and a doctor’s signature on the corresponding Lufthansa Group medical certificate form. The PCR test result should not be more than 48 hours old before the start of the respective outbound and return flight.
Sensible policy from Lufthansa that doesn’t require negative Covid-19 tests for transiting through its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, unlike KLM dominated Schiphol that requires one even from transit passengers.
It was understandable that many kinds of masks were first accepted before surgical and other professional ones became more readily available than the situation last year.
Here are the current frequently asked questions by Lufthansa:
What rules on compulsory mask wearing are currently in force along the travel chain?
During your journey with Lufthansa, you are required to wear a medical protective mask at all times, from boarding, through your time on board and when leaving the aircraft. On flights to and from Germany, wear your mask – just like our crews – throughout your stay on board.
Masks made of fabric, or community masks, like visors (face shields), masks with valves, scarves and shawls, are not permitted on board or in the lounges.
The airports have taken measures to increase hygiene and physical distance. Please note that airports also make it compulsory to wear a protective medical mask in shops and on transport. In many airports, wearing a medical mask is also mandatory throughout the terminal facilities.
Please follow the local instructions and guidelines given at the airports. Also note that restaurants and shops at the airport may still be closed. So ideally, please always bring enough of your own masks. Should you need replacements during the trip, you will find information on where to purchase protective masks and disinfectant on the websites of the respective airports.
Which kinds of facemasks are permitted?
From 1 February 2021, only facemasks of the following standards will be permitted on flights to and from Germany: FFP2, KN95 and N95 standard or surgical masks.
The latter are medical face masks known from everyday medical practice, colloquially also called surgical masks. They are medical products and were developed for the protection of others. FFP2, KN95 and N95 are filtering face pieces which protect the wearer of the mask from droplets and aerosols and serve to protect others and oneself.
What hygiene measures have been implemented in the terminal?
Wearing a mouth-nose cover is mandatory in all terminal facilities. Many airports require wearing a medical protective mask (masks with the FFP2, KN95 and N95 standard or surgical masks).
There are markers on the floor in all waiting areas showing the minimum safe distance of 1.5 metres. In the seating areas only every second seat can be used. Posters, digital displays and multilingual loudspeaker announcements also remind passengers to maintain social distancing. In addition, trained personnel will be on duty at the airport to alert travellers – where necessary – to the need to maintain a safe distance and to wear masks.
We ask that you use contactless payment when purchasing goods in the airport shops. Please note, that many shops and restaurants at the airports might still be closed.
Plexiglass screens have been installed at check-in counters and ticket desks as well as wherever there is direct contact between you and our employees to protect your health and theirs. There are also numerous hand sanitiser dispensers available. Surfaces that are frequently touched are cleaned and disinfected regularly and often.
At our airport hubs, you can also use your smartphone for contactless check-in at the relevant kiosks and can check in your baggage without personal contact at the Fast Bag Drop.
This way, we’ll contribute to safety and hygiene together.
Do check-in staff have to wear masks or gloves?
At the check-in counters, ticket desks and wherever there is direct contact between you and our employees, plexiglass screens have been installed to protect your health and theirs. These colleagues are therefore not obliged to wear face masks. Where protection is not guaranteed by a plexiglass screen, Lufthansa personnel are required to wear a medical protective mask.
There are also numerous hand sanitiser dispensers available. Surfaces that are frequently touched are cleaned and disinfected regularly and often. Because they are able to regularly disinfect their hands with sanitiser or regularly wash their hands, there is no need for check-in staff to wear gloves.
At our airport hubs, you can also use your smartphone for contactless check-in at relevant kiosks and can check in your baggage without personal contact using the Fast Bag Drop.
As a passenger, can I be asked to take off my mask?
Yes. If it is necessary to check your ID or passport photo, you may be asked to remove your mask briefly. You must continue to wear your medical protective mask afterwards.
Do masks also have to be worn in the event of an emergency on board?
If there is a loss of cabin pressure requiring the use of oxygen masks, you must remove your mask. The crew will inform you accordingly.
Why is it sufficient to wear a medical protective facemask on board a Lufthansa flight and not to keep the middle seat free?
In general, the risk of being infected with the virus during a flight is extremely low. Lufthansa Group airlines’ aircraft are equipped with filters that clean the cabin air. All the circulating air is filtered and impurities such as dust, bacteria and viruses are cleared from the air in the cabin. This filtered air makes up about 40 per cent of the air on board. The remainder is supplied as fresh air from outside the aircraft. The separation efficiency of these filters meets the standards for filters in hospital operating rooms.
Thanks to these special filters, the air in the cabin is cleaner than the air that people breathe on the ground. What’s more, the airflow in aircraft is from top to bottom. There is no horizontal airflow from side to side or along the length of the aircraft. As of today, there are no known cases of infection on our flights.
Visors (face shields) and masks with exhalation valves are therefore not permitted on board. They allow the breath to flow out to the side and thus do not provide the same level of protection as a medical protective face mask.
What happens if someone on board becomes ill?
Regardless of the current coronavirus situation, there are clear procedures on board for cases when the cabin crew suspect that a passenger has a contagious disease. Some of these procedures include the following measures: relocation of the passenger to isolate them on board, use of disinfectant, use of personal protective equipment by the crew members, immediate notification of the authorities at the flight’s destination.