EasyJet ‘not enforcing mask policy’ on UK to Portugal flight - as holidaymakers flock to amber list country

Manchester Airport was described as “busy” on Sunday morning, despite travel bans to most of the world
Passengers on a flight between Manchester and Albufeira were supposedly not wearing masks. [Image is not from specified flight] (Getty Images)Passengers on a flight between Manchester and Albufeira were supposedly not wearing masks. [Image is not from specified flight] (Getty Images)
Passengers on a flight between Manchester and Albufeira were supposedly not wearing masks. [Image is not from specified flight] (Getty Images)

A UK traveller has criticised easyJet for allowing fellow passengers to travel without using a mask on a flight to Portugal.

The traveller, who has asked to remain anonymous, was flying between Manchester and Albufeira on June 6 just two days before the Iberian country is downgraded from green travel restrictions to amber.

She told NationalWorld that while most of the “40 or 45” passengers “wore masks of their own accord” there were “a group of teen boys who had the masks dangling off their chins the entire journey”.

According to the passenger “none of the air stewardesses said anything to them despite walking past a number of times.”

The traveller claimed that the enforcing of restrictions had been far greater on previous flights.

She said: “we flew twice last year with Jet 2 who were a lot stricter on enforcing masks so it felt much safer in my opinion."

She added: “They didn’t say anything at all, completely ignored them. They came round with drinks and food and specifically spoke to that group of boys but never once asked them to put their masks on.”

‘Customer safety is our primary responsibility’

EasyJet have responded to the accusation with a spokesperson saying: “the safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew is our highest priority.

During the pandemic, this is more important than ever and so we currently have a number of safety measures in place including mandatory mask wearing for customers and crew, daily cabin disinfection effective in protecting against coronavirus for at least 24 hours and all of our aircraft are already fitted with HEPA filters which filter 99.97% of airborne contaminants in the cabin including viruses and bacteria.

Passengers receive clear communications before they travel and via announcements onboard to ensure they are aware that, in line with current guidelines, they are required to wear a face mask onboard at all times except when eating or drinking.

“Our cabin crew will always try to be vigilant to ensure that passengers comply with the requirement to wear a mask and it is the responsibility of all onboard to adhere to these measures for the health and safety of everyone onboard.”

The spokesperson added: “no official face masks complaints were made onboard any flights between Manchester and Albufeira yesterday”.

‘Need to quarantine is bizarre’

Hundreds of Brits are still travelling to Portugal despite now needing to quarantine upon their return to the UK.

The traveller explained her reasons for making the trip.

She said: “we flew to Tenerife and Cyprus last year and we knew abroad is a lot safer than the UK in terms of social distancing and things like that.

"We couldn’t move the holiday as I’m six months pregnant and didn’t want to fly too late into the pregnancy.

"We also spent so much money on tests it wouldn’t be worth cancelling. We have to take four tests in total but still need to quarantine which seems so bizarre to me”.

Thirty-nine flights are scheduled to depart from Faro Airport in the Algarve for the UK on Monday, nearly double the usual total.

The final departure of the day is a Wizz Air flight due to land at Doncaster Sheffield Airport at 2.05am on Thursday.

Travellers must arrive in the UK before 4am on Tuesday or they will be required to self-isolate at home for 10 days.

This is due to the Government’s controversial decision to remove Portugal from its green travel list.

Tourists wanting to beat the deadline are being hit by a combination of many flights being sold out, and the handful of available seats being sold at inflated prices.

Ryanair is charging £285 for a flight from Faro to Bournemouth on Monday, but just £17 on Wednesday.

EasyJet flights from Faro to Gatwick are £227 on Monday and £53 on Tuesday.