Ryanair is threatening to cancel flights to some of its most popular European destinations this summer over the Government’s mandatory hotel quarantine policy.
The Irish budget airline confirmed it was “considering cancelling Irish routes such as those from Paris, Brussels, Rome and Vienna in the coming weeks that are subject to the mandatory hotel quarantine system”.
A spokesperson for the company made the comments to RTÉ in addition to a statement it issued on Friday in which it called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin “to scrap Ireland’s defective hotel quarantine for certain EU countries, and to deliver a roadmap for the re-opening of EU air travel in time for summer holidays.”
The airline called the public health policy “an absurd measure when Ireland has a 500km open land border with the UK.”
“Travellers coming into Ireland can easily avoid designated hotel facility by flying through Belfast or via the many EU countries that are not on Ireland’s hotel quarantine list – making Ireland’s hotel quarantine completely pointless,” the statement read.
It said Ireland was the only country in the EU implementing the hotel quarantine which it claimed is “damaging Ireland’s international reputation and severely impacting connectivity to and from the country.”
It called on the Government to deliver “clear timelines for the re-opening of EU air travel before the end of May to ensure that all citizens who have been vaccinated are allowed to travel freely and without restrictions.”
Meanwhile, Mr Martin told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics on Sunday that Ireland cannot be “sealed off forever” .
But he said that the current public health advice on foreign travel will only be re-visited in July when it’s expected that the roll-out of the vaccination programme here and across Europe is expected to be well underway.