Do the flight crew with a commercial airline have to wear a face mask while on the flight deck, as both crew are in close proximity to each other and in a tight confined area? If not, why not?
It probably depends which airline you're talking about.
At mine, we're given the choice. I choose not to wear it once the cockpit door is closed. I'd rather have clearer ATC communications, clearer intracockpit communications, and a better chance of successfully donning my oxygen mask in time to prevent incapacitation if it becomes necessary. The immediate safety of all of the people on the airplane is more important to me than the very marginal benefit a mask would provide to my own health.
I can answer this question accurately - not as an airline pilot directly, but as the son of two.
To keep it short, no. Airline pilots are free to make their own decision about their safety in the cockpit. In the airport, yes. In the taxi, bus, or ground transportation, yes. But, when they enter the cockpit, they usually sanitize the entire touch area, use some germ-x, and settle in for the 12-14 hour flight. When going back into the cabin, they put a mask back on (while on break).
There have been some cases reported in the pilot body but not enough to cause any large issue. Thanks for your question.