Ryanair sees red on UK traffic light system for travel
Ryanair and several UK airports have announced they will sue the UK government over restrictions on international travel.
The companies say the government should explain how it makes decisions about the traffic light system for foreign countries. They say the lack of transparency has made it difficult for tourists to book their vacations and for businesses to prepare for the recovery.
Michael O’Leary, Managing Director of Ryanair, said: “The UK’s traffic system has been a complete disaster from the start.”
“We call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to explain the science behind the system… and establish a transparent, data-driven model that can restore confidence before the crucial summer months.”
The Irish airline said on Thursday it would use legal action to gain more transparency. The lawsuit also includes the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns the terminals at London Stansted and East Midlands.
Why is Ryanair suing the UK government?
Great Britain currently lists countries like “green”, “amber” and “red” depending on the health risks associated with the COVID-29 pandemic.
The airline industry has repeatedly criticized the government, saying travel to sunny destinations in Europe is safe due to advances in vaccinations and declining cases.
The UK has been widely condemned for overturning a decision on Portugal this month by putting it on the “amber” list in the very short term. This has forced people to cut their trips short or self-quarantine for 10 days upon their return to the UK.
With the removal of Portugal, no major European tourist destination is on the “green” list, allowing a return to the UK without quarantine. Spain, Italy, France and Greece are also on the “orange” list.
MAG said other airlines should support the lawsuit against Britain’s Health and Transport departments. “Recent developments suggest that the government does not want to reopen international travel by placing low risk countries on the green list,” said Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG.
The UK government has said it will reconsider allowing vaccinated citizens to travel to the country amid mounting pressure.