Help! We’re Going to Europe and Haven’t a Clue Which Masks to Pack.

  • Travel

As for how to stock up: Surgical masks are readily available at online retailers like Amazon or Target. And although it was difficult, if not impossible, to find respirator masks like N95s at the beginning of the pandemic, they are more readily available now. On its website, Wirecutter has a comprehensive breakdown of the different types of medical masks, and where to buy ones you can trust.

And what happens once I land?

Most airport and airline requirements tee up nicely, so travelers can safely assume that the mask they wear in-flight will be the one that stays on through baggage claim.

Are masks required on trains or buses around Europe?

Broadly, yes. Country-specific mask requirements for airplanes and airports generally apply to all forms of public transportation, including trains and buses. But that doesn’t mean standards will be universally enforced; unlike an Air France agent at Charles de Gaulle Airport, for instance, a bus driver in a small French town may not look twice at a fabric mask.

I’d like to eat inside a restaurant or visit a museum. Will I need to wear a mask?

Although indoor masking rules are among the most perplexing parts of a multi-leg Europe trip — just as in the United States, they’re usually set by regional or local governments — signs will be everywhere, from restaurants to museums. When in doubt, just ask.

Travelers may also find an increasing number of commonalities: Many countries, including the ones you’re visiting, are requiring that patrons show some form of proof, be it paper or digital, of vaccination status, recovery from Covid-19 or virus test results in order to enter indoor venues like restaurants. Large, high-capacity indoor sites like museums are requiring masks nearly across the board, regardless of health pass or vaccination status, although exactly which type of mask is acceptable will vary by venue.

The rules at smaller indoor venues like restaurants are at the whim of a number of factors — from national or city-specific guidelines to an individual owner’s health policies.