Travellers will no longer need to wear masks in airports from midnight on Friday, with the mandate remaining in place for flights.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is scrapping its recommendation to mandate masks at airport terminals, the Albanese government announced on Tuesday.

The rule will be dropped as early as Saturday, but flyers will still be required to wear masks on planes to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement, the government said the committee didn’t consider the mandate for terminals “proportionate” following relaxed mask-wearing rules in all states and territories.

“The government notes the AHPPC has strongly recommended Australians continue to wear masks as a key measure to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 and influenza,” the statement reads.

“Masks help us protect the most vulnerable in our community who are unable to get vaccinated and people who have a higher risk of developing severe illness.”

The statement says the committee will continue to review mask wearing on flights, and will provide further advice on this in the future.