A new EU "blueprint" setting out how air travel can be safely restored will allow Europe’s travel and tourism industry to restart this summer, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has said.
O’Leary said the guidelines reflected Rynair’s own health protocols, particularly on the use of face masks, and would allow tourism to resume "in July and August". Ryanair plans to restart EU flight operations on 1 July.
Ryanair has also called on the UK and Irish governments to drop a proposed 14-day quarantine on arrival requirement, which O’Leary said was "ineffective and unimplementable", and focus instead on ensuring passengers and crew wear face masks and practice social distancing.
"Requiring international arrivals to quarantine only after they have used multiple public transport providers to get from the airport to their ultimate destination has no basis in science or medicine," said O’Leary.
"We strongly urge Europe’s governments, especially those in Ireland and the UK, to mandate to the wearing of face masks for airline, train and (London) underground passengers, as this is the best and most effective way to limit the spread of Covid-19 in public transport environments where social distancing is not possible."
O’Leary added: "We welcome the European Union’s recommendation on face masks, and call again on the Irish and UK government to abandon their unexplainable, ineffective, and unimplementable quarantine restrictions.
"Europe’s citizens can travel safely on their summer holidays wearing face masks and observing temperature protocols, but 14-day quarantines have no scientific basis, are unimplementable and unnecessary in circumstances where airline, train and underground passengers wear face masks where social distancing isn’t possible.”