Ryanair is again calling on the Irish Government to lift travel restrictions, including Ireland’s hotel quarantine, for travel to and from the UK and the European Union.
The carrier wants the immediate removal of all travel restrictions from the end of May, for air travel to and from the UK and European Union countries citing that there are less than 100 patients in Irish hospitals suffering from the Covid-19 virus.
Other reasons outlined by Ryanair include that all of Ireland’s high-risk groups (the elderly, health service, nursing homes, etc.) have now been vaccinated, eliminating any Covid risk of our hospitals and health service being overwhelmed.
In a statement, the airline said: “First dose vaccination rates in the EU are now approaching 40% of all adults receiving at least their first dose vaccine.
The UK have now first dose vaccinated more than 60% of its adult population, yet UK visitors that fly to Ireland are still required to quarantine for 14 days, when visitors from Northern Ireland can drive across the border with no restrictions whatsoever, and Irish citizens can travel to the UK without any quarantine.”
The airline closed its base at Shannon Airport last October having already cut back services by half as a result of the global pandemic. The carrier had hoped to resume operations in December or January but announced in December that the Shannon base would not reopen until April.
Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said: “Thanks to the success of the UK’s vaccine program, there is no justification for requiring visitors to Ireland from the UK (our major visitor market) to quarantine. The vast majority of the UK adult population have now received their first dose vaccination, and therefore pose no threat or risk to Ireland’s hospitals or health service. Equally as Ireland and other EU countries vaccine programs exceed 33% (with most of the high-risk groups now fully vaccinated) and with most of Europe on track to vaccinate 80% of its adult population with first dose vaccines by the end of June, there is no need or requirement for Ireland to maintain travel restrictions on UK and Intra-EU air travel from the end of May onwards.
Ireland’s travel restrictions are now outdated, inappropriate and unnecessary for air travel to/from the UK, and the European Union, where successful vaccination programs have eliminated any risk to our hospitals and health services. It’s time our Government got the country and our tourism industry back to work, and we call again on Minister Eamonn Ryan to action the Aviation Task Force Report he received in July 2020 – 10 months ago – which has been gathering dust on his desk for 10 months with no action taken whatsoever.
Passengers all over Europe have been booking Ryanair flights in huge volumes over recent weeks as travel restrictions are lifted. It is inappropriate and unnecessary for Ireland to maintain its unique, and ineffective hotel quarantine system for EU visitors, the majority of whom will now be vaccinated, coming from the UK and Europe. Let’s end the travel restrictions on EU travel from the end of May.”