FILE PHOTO: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) planes are pictured at the Arlanda airport, north of Stockholm, while the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Stockholm, Sweden April 9, 2020. Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish-Danish airline SAS (SAS.ST) said on Wednesday wearing a face mask would be compulsory on all its flights through to the end of August to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion.

It said on its website that, as part of a number of measures aimed at reducing the risk, all passengers aged six and up would from May 18 need to wear a mask that covered mouth and nose.

The COVID-19 pandemic and measures such as travel restrictions to curb its spread have thrown the airline industry into crisis, grounding flights and prompting lay-offs. Most of SAS’ flights are currently suspended.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission gave non-binding recommendations as part of wider proposals to salvage the ailing tourism sector, saying passengers flying in the union should wear masks but not requiring airlines to leave seats empty to improve social distancing.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard

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