Qantas and Jetstar passengers will have to wear face masks on flights in and out of Victoria, in light of the state’s worsening virus outbreak.
Until now, both airlines offered free masks to passengers who chose to wear them, but from today the masks will be compulsory on all flights departing or arriving in Victoria as a result of that state’s second wave of COVID-19 cases.
Crew on those flights will also have to wear masks.
“We’ve made this change after a review conducted by our medical team in light of the prevalence of community transmission in Melbourne,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
Qantas’ new policy follows the Victorian Government’s mandatory face covering rule for residents of metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, which is now in effect.
Virgin Australia, which has already encouraged passengers to use complimentary masks and hand sanitiser, is now advising travellers to or from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to wear masks on their flights.
It’s also handing out masks and hand sanitiser to passengers on flights in and out of Victoria before boarding, rather than on the plane.
“While we readily make masks and sanitiser available on-board and encourage their use, the distribution of these for flights to and from Victoria is being shifted to occur prior to boarding,” a Virgin Australia spokesman said.
“In line with the Victorian Government’s public health order, guests travelling to or from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell shire are advised to wear face coverings or masks on board from Thursday (July 23).”
Regional carrier Rex