With immediate effect, passengers travelling through Norway's largest airport are required to wear a face covering. Here's what you need to know about the new rule.
Many airlines have implemented a mandatory face mask policy this year. Now, passengers passing through Oslo Airport will also be required to wear a face covering, when a distance of one metre cannot be maintained. Given the situation with security screening, luggage collection and boarding, this essentially makes face masks mandatory.
The requirement has not been introduced by airport management, rather Ullensaker municipality in which the airport is located. Airport operator Avinor has implemented the requirement immediately.
Local council decision
Following the introduction of stricter regulations in Oslo, the Ministry of Health asked nearby municipalities to follow Oslo's example.
Leaders at Ullensaker municipality agreed the new policy in an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday. The municipality is responsible for the infection control measures at Oslo Airport, Norway's biggest airport.
Avinor clarified with the municipality that the stricter requirements for the use of face masks would include the Oslo Airport premises.
“The municipality confirms that section 1 of the regulations stating that the new rules apply “at indoor station areas” also covers areas at the airport where congestion occurs and where a distance of 1 meter cannot be complied with. The regulations enter into force immediately and apply until further notice,” an Avinor spokesperson told flysmart24 on Thursday afternoon.
Face masks during travel now the norm in Oslo
While face masks have been a relatively rare sight across Norway during the health crisis, Oslo is starting to buck that trend. As the numbers indicate a surge in infection spread in and around the capital city, local authorities have introduced stricter requirements.
Passengers on public transport in and around Oslo are now required to wear face masks when a distance of one metre cannot be maintained, such as during rush hours. However, police have said they do not have the resources to enforce the regulation.
Many air travellers have called for stricter requirements at airports. Whereas most airlines require the use of face masks, Oslo Airport itself had no such requirement. There have been many reports of violations of social distancing guidelines at security checkpoints and luggage facilities.
However, as in the capital, enforcement of the rules looks unlikely. “Passengers are responsible for wearing face masks. Avinor does not enforce breaches of the order,” added the Avinor spokesperson.