British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have launched their legal fight against the UK government’s 14-day Covid-19 quarantine.
The three rival carriers have asked for their judicial review against the quarantine, which was introduced on Monday (8 June), to be heard “as soon as possible”.
“The airlines have not yet seen any evidence on how and when proposed “air bridges” between the UK and other countries will be implemented,” said the companies in a statement.
“Instead, they want the government to re-adopt its previous quarantine policy introduced on March 10, where quarantine is limited to passengers from high-risk countries.”
The carriers added that this would be “the most practical and effective solution” and would bring the UK “in line” with European neighbours who are due to reopen their borders later this month.
They are challenging the quarantine on the grounds that it’s “more stringent” than the restrictions currently placed on those infected with Covid-19.
The airlines also argue that the government failed to consult or provide scentific evidence for “such a severe policy”, and is effectively “banning people travelling to and from countries with lower infection rates than the UK”.
The legal challenge comes as the government faces continued pressure to change the quarantine policy – both from the travel industry and their own MPs.
The Quash Quarantine group, made up of more than 500 travel and hospitality companies, has also been considering its legal options, including the possibility of joining the airlines’ challenge or launching a separate action on its own.
There is also significant public support for alternatives to quarantine, including air bridges and/or a greater test and trace effort, according to a poll of consumers.
While one-third of respondents to TTG’s Travel Agent Tracker survey say quarantine is the biggest issue facing their business.