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EU Nationals Will Have to Wear a Mask for Another Month While Flying to US, Authorities Announce

European citizens and all other passengers traveling to the United States will be required to continue to wear face masks on flights bound for the United States, as the country has extended the ban for another month.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the extension of the federal mask mandate through April 18, based on a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports.

This revised framework will be based on COVID-19 community levels, the risk of new variables, national data, and the latest science. “We will publicly notify any updates if and/or when they change,” an administration official said.

Although the majority of US states are easing restrictions on indoor masks, the requirement to have a face mask in indoor places will remain in place in three US states – Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, with the latter two planned to open soon, while measures in Aloha may take up to 26 March to be lifted.

As the majority of European Union member states have lifted their restrictions on US travelers, the US government continues to advise against non-essential travel to the 27-nation bloc, although it has eased procedures on the latter.

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), all European countries, including attractive tourist destinations such as France, Spain and Portugal, currently have “level four: do not travel” advice. This advisory level represents the most stringent restriction on incoming and outgoing travelers. More specifically, this level means that unvaccinated and non-exempt travelers are advised not to take non-essential trips, indicating that tourism is not encouraged at this point.

As the United States continues to enforce stricter entry rules for the coronavirus, European countries are opening their borders to travelers, especially those who have been fully vaccinated.

Recently, Hungary and Ireland rescinded their entry rules for travelers, exempting them from requirements to present a valid vaccination, recovery or COVID-19 test certificate, as well as freedom from national COVID-19 restrictions, which can include curfews and serving alcoholic beverages over time.

With the exception of Hungary and Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Slovenia also raised entry rules and allowed everyone to enter, even those who had not been vaccinated against the virus.

Moreover, even countries with the strictest rules, such as Austria, have relaxed their domestic restrictions. From March 5, travelers will no longer be required to follow COVID-19 precautions, with the exception of wearing FFP2 masks when arriving on public transportation and essential stores, which will be the only measure that will remain in place until further notice.

Other countries, such as Germany and France, are also planning to relax their rules, with the French government announcing that it will partially cancel the requirement to obtain vaccination passports on March 14. Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain, where it can set the pace for a successful summer season.

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