RYANAIR boss Michael O’Leary has hit the headlines once again after describing the new 14-day UK quarantine for international travellers as “rubbish” and insisting the Irish low-cost carrier will not be cancelling flights even if the rules remain in place throughout the summer.
The requirement for almost all people travelling to the UK to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect today Monday.
Commenting in an interview with the BBC earlier this morning, the Ryanair chief executive said the airline’s services to and from the UK would run in July and August even if the quarantine measures are still in force “because the flights are full outbound of the UK.
“British people are ignoring this quarantine; they know it’s rubbish,” he claimed.
“Ryanair is operating a thousand daily flights to points all over Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece from July 1, 2, 3 and every day after that.”
O’Leary also dubbed the quarantine decision a “political stunt,” arguing it is not enforceable and will be “ineffective.”
Referring to the requirement to fill out a “public health passenger locator” form on arrival, he commented, “you could be in Sainsbury’s, you could be on the beach, you could be on the golf course in the unlikely event the Home Office calls you – all they will have is a mobile number.”
The UK government’s decision to introduce the quarantine regulations have met with significant criticism from the travel industry, which warns it will have a severe impact on the tourism sector and could result in thousands of job losses.
Ryanair, easyJet and BA-owner IAG have already initiated the preliminary stage of legal action against the government on the issue.
The quarantine applies to everyone arriving at UK airports, ferry ports and international rail terminals, apart from travellers entering the country from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Also excluded from the two-week self-isolation rule are workers in certain industries, notably road haulage and medical professionals providing essential care.
Anyone found flouting the quarantine in England and Northern Ireland could be fined up to £1,000.
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