“[Ireland’s] tourism industry and connectivity for Irish workers commuting particularly to/from the UK is now suffering unrecoverable losses, as arriving EU passengers are forced to quarantine even while the border to Northern Ireland remains wide open with no such quarantines,” said Ryanair in a statement released today.
They claim the country’s travel restriction “make no sense.”
The Foreign Office explained that “travel [to Ireland] is subject to entry restrictions.”
“All arrivals from overseas, including Irish residents, are asked to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
“There are some exemptions, including if you are returning to Ireland from Northern Ireland.
“All arrivals, including Irish residents, arriving from overseas must complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form.”
However, Ryanair are calling on the Irish government to drop all travel restrictions between Ireland and the EU.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “Last week when the UK and Northern Ireland removed travel restrictions on short haul flights to/from the European Union, Ireland became the only country in the EU with a blanket 14 day quarantine restriction on all arrivals from EU countries, most of which have lower Covid case rates than Ireland.
“It makes no sense, when Governments all over Europe have opened up EU flights since 1st June and removed travel restrictions on intra-EU travel, that the Irish Government continues to treat countries like Germany, Denmark and Greece as if they were suffering similar levels of Covid as the USA, Brazil and India.
“Irish citizens are being advised by their Government that they should not travel to and from EU countries (almost all of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland), yet citizens of Northern Ireland can travel freely to and from the EU – via Dublin Airport – without any quarantine restrictions whatsoever.
“Air travel between Ireland and the UK is being badly damaged by this ineffective 14-day quarantine.
“Ryanair will significantly reduce its flights between Ireland and the UK in August and September, to reflect this suppressed demand.”
The spokesperson continued: “This means 100,000 fewer visitors from the UK travelling to regional airports in Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry during the peak months of the tourism season.
“This unique policy by Ireland, insisting on blanket quarantines with our European neighbours (most of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland) is damaging the recovery of Ireland’s economy and our tourism industry, causing long-term damage to jobs in Ireland’s largest employment sector, with business travellers in particular being told that Ireland is closed for business.
“We call on the Irish Government to remove all travel restrictions between Ireland and the EU (almost all of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland) as a matter of urgency, so that Ireland’s hotels, guest houses, restaurants and other tourism providers can recover their business and minimise job losses before we reach the downturn winter period.
“If [Taoiseach of Ireland] Micheál Martin does not quarantine for 14 days after visiting Brussels this week, then why should any other Irish or EU citizen be treated differently.”
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis recently shared his advice to those holidaymakers waiting for Ryanair refunds.
“Ryanair says it will clear it 90 percent of its refund backlog by July 31,” Lewis explained on his eponymous ITV programme The Martin Lewis Money Show last week.
This has been a big stress for many people, so you could, if it’s too stressful for you, just simply say, you know what, I’m going to leave it and see if I get my refund by the end of July.
“I’ve heard that people are getting paid now, so it is starting to happen – hopefully, it’ll deliver on its promise.
“If not, you could get militant now, but if I were you, I’d see if it delivers, and then get militant in August if you haven’t got your money then.”