Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has slammed UK government plans to impose 14-day quarantine restrictions on arrivals as “bonkers” and “unfeasible”.

The Ryanair group chief executive forecast the government would be “embarrassed” into withdrawing the quarantine rules as the rest of Europe lifts lockdown restrictions.


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O’Leary told analysts: “We are trying to discourage idiotic ideas like 14-day isolation. We are pushing hard for effective measures, not ineffective measures like this 14-day quarantine.

“We would hope there would be a reasonable relaxation of restrictions and governments remove these 14-day quarantine restrictions which are utterly bonkers. A two-week isolation is unfeasible.”

He suggested the UK government was using the quarantine proposal “as a fig leaf”, arguing: “They fall back on ‘It’s all science based’, [but] it’s all nonsense.”

O’Leary noted Italy’s decision “to dispense with idiotic quarantine restrictions”, saying he took “considerable comfort over the weekend from the Italian plan to open from June 3”.

He added: “We think Spain, Portugal, Greece will relax [travel restrictions] without 14-day restrictions.

“We see a lot of European countries opening. I’m reasonably optimistic countries will relax restrictions in the next couple of weeks.

“The more we see European governments roll back on restrictions, we think the UK government will be embarrassed and withdraw its 14-day isolation.”

O’Leary claimed: “Face masks are effective in all transport situations and the only way to allow some return to normal economic activity. Face masks would eliminate about 98% of Covid-19 infection.

“Temperature checks at airports and face masks will be important.”

Ryanair has said it will resume 40% of services from July. O’Leary said: “We think we can stimulate an awful lot of bookings. There is a lot of pent -up demand from families. Business travel may take a bit longer

“I would expect by the end of the first week of June a lot of European economics will be out of lockdown, schools will return, retail will return.

“People have been locked up at home for 10-15 weeks. Once confidence is restored we think you will see significant return to flying stimulated by low prices.”

O’Leary dismissed the idea of a boom in domestic holidays replacing overseas demand, saying:  “All this notion of staycations – there isn’t enough capacity in Bognor to cope.

“The risk of Covid-19 infection in the heat on a beach in Portugal or Greece will be negligible.”

MoreRyanair warns over losses continuing into summer peak

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