RYANAIR has launched a legal challenge against the British Government over its travel traffic light system.
The airline, headed up by Group CEO Michael O’Leary, joins the owner of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports in the challenge.
They are calling for more transparency about how the government decides which countries qualify for the green list of safe places to visit amid the pandemic.
The legal challenge by Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group has been put together after huge frustration within the travel industry at the inclusion of Portugal on the green list in mid-May and then its sudden removal a few weeks later.
On June 16, Mr O’Leary criticised Boris Johnson’s mismanagement of the Covid pandemic, and the reopening of the UK economy following the UK’s successful vaccine rollout programme – claiming the UK’s travel policy is a confusing “go-stop-go-stop” system.
“The UK’s Covid travel policy is a shambles,” he said.
“The Green List is non-existent because countries such as Malta and Portugal, with lower Covid case numbers than the UK and rapidly rising vaccination rates, remain on Amber. “Meanwhile, UK citizens, almost 80 per cent of whom will be vaccinated by the end of June, continue to face Covid restrictions on travel to and from the European Union, despite the fact that the majority of the European Union citizens will also be vaccinated by the end of June.”
He added: “UK tourism and aviation needs a pragmatic travel policy, which permits vaccinated UK and EU citizens to travel between the UK and the EU without the need for quarantine or negative PCR tests.
“This will at least allow the UK tourism industry to plan for what is left of the summer season and get hundreds of thousands of people back to work.
“It is time for Boris Johnson to end his gross mismanagement of Covid and the recovery from Covid and take advantage of the UK’s successful vaccine programme to allow the restoration of free movement of vaccinated UK citizens and their families to and from the EU, where Covid case rates are lower than the UK and vaccination rates are rising rapidly.”