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Ryanair CEO says that carrier won’t cancel flights despite UK’s “rubbish” 14 day quarantine

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Ryanair will not cancel flights to and from the UK despite the introduction of a 14-day quarantine for international travellers because thousands of Britons are still booking holidays, boss Michael O’Leary said on Monday. New rules requiring all arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect on Monday in the country even though Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airline, easyJet and Aer Lingus-owner IAG have threatened legal action over what they cast as a draconian move that will cripple the British tourism industry. The quarantine is designed to prevent a second surge of Covid-19 and in England a breach of the rules will be punishable with a £1,000 (€1,123) fine, Irish Times reported.

According to Home Secretary Priti Patel, anyone arriving in the UK from tomorrow will have to quarantine for 14 days. That includes UK citizens arriving in the UK after being on holiday.

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The only exceptions to the rules are certain job occupations and those arriving from the Common Travel Area which includes the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, Express wrote.

Asked by BBC Radio whether Ryanair would cancel July and August flights if the quarantine remained in place, group CEO O’Leary said: “No, because the flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish.” Airlines have warned it could deter British travelers, some of the top spenders, from flying to Europe and prevent Europeans from visiting cities such as London and Edinburgh and sites including Stonehenge. There were 41 million visits to the UK in 2019

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, according to the national tourism agency, with visitors spending 28 billion pounds ($36 billion) and supporting millions of jobs, according to Reuters.

Speaking to the BBC, O’Leary also said: “Ryanair is operating a thousand daily flights to points all over Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece from the 1st of July, the 2nd, the 3rd and every day after that”. He added that Ryanair’s bookings for the summer months were at roughly 50 per cent of what they would usually be in July and August, City A.M wrote.

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