PASSENGERS flying with Ryanair and easyJet will have to wear face masks on planes even after the government no longer requires it.

Ryanair said in a statement: "In order to protect the health of our customers and crew, the use of face masks will still be mandatory across all Ryanair flights, regardless of the departing/destination country."

EasyJet has also indicated that it has no plans to drop its requirement for passengers to wear face coverings.

The airline said in a statement to PA: "At present there are no changes to easyJet's onboard mask policy and we will continue to keep this under review.

"We continue to be guided by our inhouse medical adviser and a number of key industry governing bodies that airlines follow including the WHO , Icao, Easa, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and public health authorities across Europe, and at present their guidance around the wearing of masks onboard remains unchanged."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to set out plans to end social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England later today.

It is thought that he will confirm plans to end restrictive measures on July 19, including guidance on social distancing, face coverings and working from home.

Mr Johnson is betting that the vaccination programme, which has weakened the link between infections and hospital admissions, can prevent the health service being overwhelmed by a new wave that has already begun.

He is expected to say that people will learn to live with COVID as they do already with flu.

Housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Sunday that face masks would no longer be mandatory after the final easing, but many doctors and scientists urged more caution.

"It makes no sense to stop wearing face masks amongst the public in closed public settings such as public transport," Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the Council of the British Medical Association trade union, told BBC radio, adding their main purpose was to protect others, not the wearer.

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