Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline, today (Wed 03 June) rejected the UK Government’s 14 day quarantine as ineffective and useless. For a quarantine to be effective, inbound passengers arriving at ports and airports need to be “detained” at their point of arrival. The UK Government however proposes to collect mobile phone numbers from inbound visitors but then allow them to travel on the London underground, the Heathrow Express, the Gatwick Express, the bus network, and/or taxis to and from London, and to/from every other airport in the UK.
Any inbound visitors could therefore spread the Covid-19 virus on public transport across London, and in every other major UK city with an airport, before ever arriving at their “quarantine address”. There is nothing to stop these visitors shopping in any other supermarket, to collect groceries and any other essentials before arriving at their 14 day quarantine address.
Once they have arrived at their “quarantine address”, the UK Government will phone less than 1% of these visitors but only on their mobile phone, which can be answered from any golf course, beach, park or indeed supermarket across the UK, thereby rendering this quarantine utterly ineffective and useless.
For the UK to be imposing a 14 day quarantine on inbound visitors when it already has one of the worst Covid infection and death rates in Europe, is closing the door long after the horse has bolted. Most visitors to the UK from Europe are arriving from countries with a lower R rate than the UK, which renders this 14 day quarantine not just ineffective and useless, but far too little far too late.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said:
“This 14 day UK quarantine is ineffective, completely useless, and will have no effect on British passengers who will largely ignore it. At a time when the medical science across Europe, in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany, have safely removed all inbound visitor restrictions, the imposition of this completely defective quarantine in the UK is utterly useless and a total waste of time.
Ryanair is going back flying on 1 July with 1,000 daily flights from most UK airports, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of UK visitors going on their well-earned summer holidays to Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, and we are equally confident that inbound visitors to the UK will not be deterred by this completely ineffective and useless quarantine measure, which both Priti Patel and Grant Shapps know cannot be implemented, cannot be policed and has no scientific basis supporting it whatsoever.”