Ryanair Calls on Minister Harris and NPHET to Drop Useless “Form Filling” Quarantine Before End June

12 Jun 2020

Ryanair today (Fri 12 Jun) published its open correspondence with Health Minister Simon Harris, and called on both his Government and NPHET to abandon Ireland’s useless “form filling” quarantine, which has no scientific or medical efficacy, but is deterring EU visitors coming to Ireland in July & Aug at a time when most other EU countries are removing restrictions and welcoming tourists.

Ryanair again called on Minister Harris and NPHET to implement the scientific protocols published by ECDC and EASA on 20th May last, which allows for the safe return of air travel using mandatory face masks and rigorous hand hygiene. Nowhere in this scientific guidance is there any recommendation for filling in useless forms at airports, where the contact details may be inaccurate, and where in most cases, there is no follow up from NPHET or the HSE’s contact tracers.

Ryanair believes that the Minister for Health and NPHET handled the lockdown and the battle against Covid-19 well, but is now mismanaging the return to economic activity with a useless and defective visitor “quarantine” while failing to make face masks mandatory on all forms of public transport, which is a much more effective barrier to the spread of Covid-19 than form filling at airports.

 A Ryanair spokesperson said:

“Thousands of Irish families are booking holidays in Portugal, Spain and Italy during July and Aug. However, Ireland’s hotels, tour operators, visitor attractions and restaurants are being unnecessarily damaged by this useless and ineffective visitor “quarantine”, which will deter European visitors during the peak travel months of July & Aug.

We call on NPHET to scrap its useless form filling “quarantine” before the end of June, and replace it instead with the scientific measures which are approved by the WHO and the ECDC, which comprise of mandatory face masks and rigorous hand hygiene on all forms of public transport where social distancing is not possible.

Having managed the Covid-19 lockdown well, it is deeply regrettable that NPHET continues to mismanage the return to normality by being too cautious, and not following the well-established scientific advice being implemented by the rest of Europe. If NPHET are not willing to make these sensible and scientifically based decisions, then Minister Harris and his Government should. Officials advise, but Ministers decide, and Minister Harris should now scrap Ireland’s useless and ineffective visitor quarantine before the end of June.