Ryanair has called out the UK Transport Minister’s decision that aircrew flying to Denmark must quarantine for 14 days upon their return. The airline called the rules ‘idiotic’ in a statement posted on Twitter.
The evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to cause issues with forward planning. First, airlines have to deal with a second depression in passenger numbers due to the ever-increasing difficulty in traveling without being forced to quarantine. However, airlines have also had to deal with governments springing policy changes regularly at the last minute. Indeed, no notice was given about the UK’s new Denmark specific quarantine order.
It’s fair to say that since the beginning of the pandemic, Ryanair has been unhappy with governments several times, going as far as to compare the Irish government to North Korea. However, rather than attacking the Irish government, the Irish LCC is now aiming at its British counterpart.
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In an online statement, the Irish airline commented,
“We appealed this baseless decision to the UK DOT this morning, explaining that there is no scientific bases for any such 14-day aircrew quarantine, but were advised that the Transport Minister Grant Shapps had made this decision and it cannot be changed”
The airline went on to blast the restrictions as ‘bizarre,’ ‘baseless,’ and ‘non-scientific,’ adding that it would continue to call for their removal. It also mentioned that the rules apply “despite the fact that [crew] never leave the aircraft during their 25-minute turnaround” in Denmark.
What are the new rules?
We’ve learned that Ryanair is unhappy, but what exactly is the airline unhappy about? At 03:18 on Saturday, Shapps tweeted that all arrivals from Denmark would be required to proceed to quarantine for 14-day immediately. Unlike the government’s existing quarantine rules, anybody in a household with a Denmark returnee will also be required to quarantine.
However, the rules also go a step further than the standard quarantine policy. Only British nationals and residents will be permitted to enter the country if they’ve been in Denmark in the past 14-days. All others will be denied entry to the country.
The new rules have come into effect following an outbreak of coronavirus in Danish mink farms. A mutated virus is thought to have jumped from the minks to humans and could make vaccines being produced less effective due to its difference to the Sars-CoV-2 virus, according to the BBC, hence the concern.
Not all bad news for Ryanair
However, it’s not been all bad news today for the world’s largest international carrier by passenger numbers. You may recall that the airline has been calling time and time again for the Irish Government to introduce the EU’s traffic light system for travel restrictions.
While Ireland also requires those traveling from Denmark to self-isolate for 14-days, the rule doesn’t apply to aircrew, unlike in the UK.
Who do you side with? Ryanair or the UK Government? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!