Ryanair CEO criticises Merkel’s ‘stupid’ quarantine plans
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Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has urged the UK Government to join up with the European Union (EU) Covid green pass for travel which has launched across the bloc. Travel is already back up and running throughout the EU, however UK travel restrictions mean Britons face a far more difficult time trying to jet off at the moment.
While most of Europe has implemented the app, the Ryanair boss points out Ireland is one nation that still has not got the app up and running.
Airlines and airports across the EU have already warned of “major operation risks” if Government’s do not agree on a coordinated rollout.
The industry raised its concerns over a “worrying patchwork of approaches and solutions” in a letter to EU leaders, adding that “the risk of chaos at European airports is real.”
According to Politico, a cyberattack has made it difficult for Ireland to get “all the technical solutions” in place by today, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said Wednesday.
This is already a cause for concern according to Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Speaking to Bloomberg he said: “I am pleased to say the digital Covid certificates have started today and they are working very well.
“23 of the EU countries have been issuing these certificates for the last two weeks.
“There are one or two countries, most notably Ireland, who still haven’t issued the certificates and so there are still some problems there.”
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While the budget carrier has already seen a spike in demand for holidays, carrying “just over five million passengers” so far in June, the UK market is “lagging”.
He said: “In my view, people are overreacting to the Delta variant which has seen an upward spike in cases in the UK but not any significant move in serious illnesses, hospitalisations or mortality.“
Mr O’Leary has warned that the UK and EU need to unite on a plan for travel.
“The bit that’s uncertain is [whether] European countries will welcome in UK visitors without any restrictions,” he said.
“Will they accept the NHS app or will they have to produce other documentary evidence that they have been vaccinated.
“The UK is a country where 60 percent of the adult population has now been fully vaccinated.
“We see that as enough to allow UK families to go on holiday in Europe.
“But the Europeans need to reciprocate.
“In our view, the best thing would be to join the EU digital Covid certificate with the NHS app in the UK and therefore you’d have seamless travel.”
However, the Ryanair boss admitted the problem is “a political issue, not a travel issue.”
Already, EU countries have set out differing entry rules for Britons.
While both Spain’s Balearic Islands and Malta are on the UK’s quarantine-free green list, the nations are taking an opposing stance when it comes to providing proof of vaccination.
While Spain is accepting the NHS app as proof of inoculation status, Malta has said only NHS letters will be seen as official evidence.
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