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Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary ridicules Government restrictions and calls for 'unnecessary' lockdown to end

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 27/05/2020 Ciara Phelan
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Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called on the government to end “unnecessary” lockdown restrictions.

The airline chief criticised the decision by health officials that all passengers arriving here have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Minister for Health Simon Harris signed the regulations making it mandatory for all passengers coming into Ireland to fill out a passenger locator form starting on Thursday.

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Failure to fill in the form will be punishable by a fine of up to €2,500 or a term of imprisonment up to six months.

The regulations will be in effect until June 18, when they will be reviewed.

Mr O’Leary said it was “unfair” on Irish people that they have to comply with “the most stringent lockdown measures” when other EU countries such as Spain and Italy are allowing tourists to visit again in the coming weeks.

He said: “It makes little sense for Ireland to be locking down further at a time when most other EU countries are opening up.

Michael O'Leary wearing a suit and tie © Gareth Chaney Collins Michael O'Leary

“Ireland should now do likewise and remove its ineffective and unnecessary travel quarantine from the EU.

“It is unfair on the Irish people that Ireland is now applying the most stringent lockdown measures (as ranked by the Oxford University School of Government), whereas many other EU countries who have not performed as well in tackling Covid-19 have already removed their lockdown travel restrictions.

“Ryanair calls on the Irish Government to accelerate our exit from lockdown and scrap their ineffective travel quarantine from the end of June.

“Ireland has been one of the best EU countries in tackling and defeating the Covid-19 virus, and our people should not be penalised by having the most stringent EU lockdown restrictions, which are unnecessary given Ireland’s impressive Covid-19 record.”

Gallery: Controversial statements of Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary (Photo Services)

Ryanair have said they will resume flying from July 1 with 1,000 daily flights to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and other holiday destinations.

In a statement, the airline said the quarantine “makes no sense when it doesn’t apply to visitors from the UK,” given it’s Covid-19 infection figures.

The statement says further lockdown makes “no economic or medical sense” when Ireland has one of the “better performances of all EU countries” in responding to and “defeating” the spread of Covid-19.

Mr O’Leary also canvassed his strong support that hairdressers should reopen sooner to “give the Mums of Ireland a much needed break.”

Mr O’Leary said: “The Irish Government and the Irish people have done a fantastic job over the last 10 weeks, combating the spread of Covid-19 and defeating this virus.

“This impressive record by our Government and health services is not reflected in our overly stringent lockdown measures.”


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