Mask Requirements For European Holiday Travel

Do I need a mask or face covering to go on holiday to Europe?

Which countries require a face mask and where do you need to wear them when travelling abroad this summer? We take a look into the regulations at the start of July as travel restrictions begin to ease.

Travelling by plane, train, or ferry (including within the UK)

The first thing to note is that when leaving the UK, at the current time, a face covering is required on all planes and at the airport as well as on Eurostar and currently all departing ferries. It should also be noted that even if restrictions change within the UK, the ferries, airlines and Eurostar will likely have to follow additional rules and regulations from their origin or departure location. In addition to ferries operating between France and Holland, both Calmac and Irish Ferries also require a face covering to worn. You may be able to remove the face covering on certain deck areas of ferries, and this should be checked with the operator. There is a link to a number of the main ferry companies below.

European Travel - Holiday Destinations Mask Requirements*






Public transport, schools & recommended in locations where distancing not possible



All enclosed spaces including shops public transport, on the street & public places where 2 meter distancing is not possible.



The use of face masks is required on public transport, shops, supermarkets & closed spaces. It is widely accepted to don a mask when entering an office or building and there is heavy use of hand sanitiser.



Obligatory on public transport and in shops. Airline passengers should note reduced hand luggage rules are in operation and a requirement when in a plane to change your mask every 4 hours. You will find though that other travel restrictions in terms of seating space are less onerous than elsewhere in Europe



To be worn on public transport, retail stores and shopping centres with additional rules per state. There is a substantial fine for failing to comply and it is advised to check the most up to date details for the area of travel.


Recommenced Only

At the current time there is no obligation only a recommendation to wear face coverings on public transport and enclosed spaces. They are required for air travel. This may change and boarder restrictions are fluid with neighbouring countries so one to check before departure and be prepared for adjustments.



Mandatory on public transport, in a taxi, lift/elevator, medical facilities and ferries. When travelling to the islands by boat additional questionnaires will need to be completed regarding your health before travel. Masks are also recommended in other enclosed spaces



On public transport including trams, trains, ferries and water taxis.



Public transport, schools, at work if less than 1.5 distancing possible and for certain professions including waiters and hairdressers

Czech Republic


The Czech Republic was quick to use face coverings but recently significantly scaled back the requirements to Prague Metro, medical facilities and the northern region of Moravian-Silesian only. The government has been clear it will adjust rules across localised areas as required so another one to check before travel.



Austria, like the Czech Republic was a strong adopter of the mask but has reaped the benefit and now scaled back to public transport , health facilities and in places where social distancing is difficult such as hair dressers only.



Switzerland has a requirement for masks on public transport and take up of masks in the Cantons is varied.Depending on your area of travel it may be more normal to wear a mask than others (especially closer to the Italian boarder)



There was a reintroduction of the requirement in late June for public indoor spaces The requirement covers shops, public transport, sports events and cinemas as well as other indoor situations such as churches where distancing is not possible.


* All information is offered in good faith, please check before departure or holiday booking as the situation for many countries changes rapidly. This is a guide only. The FCO provides up to date travel advice here https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

This list is not exhaustive but focuses on some of the most popular holiday destinations. Travelling can be stressful and even a short flight involves time at the airport and thus prolonged use of a face mask. For this reason, we have created WOW Mask travel packs, which include four masks in varied colours that can be used and then stored for washing.

Why use a WOW Mask and not a disposable one? Two very simple answers:

A WOW Mask is highly adjustable for a comfortable fit, which is all the more important when wearing a mask for long periods.
We strongly believe the beaches of Europe do not need to be clogged up with used face masks.

For a few extra pounds you can have a washable, reusable, comfortable mask made by people who care in a UK workshop being paid a real living wage.

Happy Holidays and stay safe.

Shop WOW Masks Travel Collection and save up to 15%

Useful links

FCO https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
P and O Ferries http://www.poferries.com/en/coronavirus
Eurostar https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/service-information/coronavirus-and-eurostar-service
Stena Line https://www.stenaline.co.uk/faqs/coronavirus-advice/do-i-need-to-wear-a-facemask
DPDS https://www.dfds.com/en/passenger-ferries/corona-virus/updates
Calmac https://www.calmac.co.uk/covid19/faqs/what-can-you-do