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Japanese airline association to make onboard mask-wearing optional

TOKYO, Feb 07 (Japan Times) - A group of airlines in Japan, including Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, plans to make passenger mask-wearing a “personal choice” in May in line with the government’s planned downgrading of COVID-19, which involves a revision of mask guidelines.

The move comes with many airline operators in Western countries having already lifted their mask-requirements last year, making them optional.

Under the present guidelines of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan, which brings together 19 airlines, passengers other than infants are asked to wear masks and refrain from talking to each other as much as possible while on the plane.

If passengers have illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks, they are asked to consult with airlines beforehand. If a passenger refuses to wear a mask without a justifiable reason, airlines can deny boarding. ...continue reading

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