Ryanair sues UK over travel lists policy

Photo: EPA

UK budget carrier Ryanair announced it would launch legal challenge related to the policy of the British cabinet to use travel light system, BBC reported. More airports and airlines signalled they would join the action. The travel light system is applied to countries and destinations and evaluetes the potential Covid-19 risk.

The call is for more transparency and clarity about how the government decides which countries qualify for the green list of safe places to visit amid the pandemic. Ministers say the system "cautiously manages the risk of new variants". The traffic light system rates countries green, amber or red based on their Covid risk. Travellers to countries rated green will not need to isolate on their return, but they will need to take a Covid test before and after their trip. Arrivals from amber countries will need to quarantine, while red-list countries have the strictest rules, with only UK or Irish nationals, or UK residents, allowed to return - and they must pay for a 10-day stay in a government quarantine hotel.

The challenge by Ryanair has been put together after huge frustration within the travel industry about the system. The bosses of Jet2 and EasyJetsaid they did not understand why low infection destinations like Mallorca were left off the green list in the last review and questioned how government decisions are made. The boss of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, wants Boris Johnson to explain the scientific basis behind the system which he says the government "seems to make up" as it goes along.

Travel bosses are concerned the damage of these sudden reversals will continue to erode the confidence of the British travelling public. They maintain there is huge pent-up demand to travel abroad this summer, following three coronavirus lockdowns and huge numbers of cancelled or postponed holidays. But epidemiologists worry that mass travel before more people are fully vaccinated, both in the UK and at holiday destinations, will allow the virus to spread more rapidly.

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