11 International Destinations Where Masks Are Still Required
As the world adjusts to an ongoing "post-COVID" landscape, many countries have all but eliminated most masking requirements or other safety measures. However, if you're planning on taking a trip this fall, you might want to double check to see what the law of the land is at your destination.
Since the United States has dropped the majority of its COVID-19 restrictions, many travelers have forgotten to remain vigilant about other countries' rules relating to public safety. Read on for a roundup of the current destinations – both international and domestic – that require masks.
When in doubt, it's always smart to have a few extra masks on hand when you're traveling. Beyond places like airports and public transportation, certain stores, businesses, or other institutions might require visitors or clients be masked. Plan ahead and be prepared as rules and regulations continue to ebb and flow.
COVID-19 Travel: Where Are Masks Still Required? [August 2022]
German officials recently extended the country’s face mask mandate for public transit through at least April 2023. Passengers on all commercial flights, long-distance trains, and coach trains are required to wear a medical-grade mask en route to, and within, the country. According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate, acceptable masks include surgical masks and N95, KN95, and FFP-2 style masks.
If you're planning to visit Italy this fall, take note. You'll be mandated to wear an FP2/KN95 mask on all trains, ships, and local public transportation, including buses and metros. According to the U.S. Embassy in Italy, this regulation is expected to be in effect through at least September 30, 2022.
Generally speaking, most mask mandates in Portugal have been lifted. However, masks are still required on public transportation, including flights, per the U.S. Embassy in Portugal. TAP Airlines, the country’s flagship carrier, states that all passengers over the age of 6 must wear a mask on TAP-operated flights.
Greece also requires masks on some – but not all – modes of public transportation. As of August 3, masks are not required on planes or intercity public transport throughout the country. However, masks are still required on taxis and urban public transport, specifically the metro, electric railway, buses, trolleybuses, trams, and ferries.
Masks are required across all public transit in Spain.
Canada continues to be among the countries with the strictest COVID-19 protocols. For example, entry remains restricted to travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers – including those from the United States – cannot enter Canada. Masks remain mandatory for all passengers traveling on trains and planes to Canada.
Also, COVID-19 testing is mandatory for all arriving passengers, regardless of vaccination status. This process is still in effect at land border entry points and the following airports:
- Toronto Pearson Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
- Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
- Calgary International Airport
Australia & New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand both require passengers to wear masks on public transit, including on flights and at the airport. According to Australian airline Qantas, "your face mask needs to cover your mouth and nose, fit securely and must be worn unless you’re under 12 years of age or have a medical exemption." Scarves or bandanas are not considered appropriate substitutes for masks.
Asia: Singapore, Japan, and South Korea
If you will be visiting Asia in the coming months, expect to wear a mask on flights and public transit throughout most countries. This includes Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, where even before COVID-19 the practice of wearing masks in public and on transportation was standard.
United States: New York City & Los Angeles
No state in the U.S. currently has a statewide mask mandate in effect. However, both New York City and Los Angeles still have broad public transit mask mandates in place, including everything from subways and trains to ride-hailing services to airports.
In New York, masks are required on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority system (subway and commuter rail trains, buses) as well as taxis, Ubers and Lyfts. The city’s two airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), also require masks.
In Los Angeles, similar rules apply to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority system (bus terminals, train and subway stations, trains, subway rails, and buses), taxis and ride-hailing services. Similar rules are in effect at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).