Ryanair CEO criticises Merkel’s ‘stupid’ quarantine plans
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Michael O’Leary joined many other travel bosses in condemning Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for not providing enough assurance to holidaymakers and blasted the new “green watchlist” which raises a huge question mark over certain destinations. But Michael O’Leary was asked by Sky News’ Kay Burley whether Ryanair flights were flexible to which he said they were. He then turned his gaze onto German Chancellor Angela Merkel who suggested UK travellers should quarantine wherever they land in the European Union and revealed there was a blatant flaw in her proposal.
Speaking on Sky News, Ms Burley told Mr O’Leary that she spoke with Grant Shapps earlier in her show and said he told viewers to book holidays that are flexible and can be easily altered.
She asked if Ryanair holidays would follow suit.
Mr O’Leary replied: “Yeah, all our bookings at the moment on Ryanair, all bookings we made have zero change fees they can be changed at any time from the past year from now up to the end of the year.
“But the problem is the uncertainty, the Government is going in the right direction but what the industry has been calling for now for a number of weeks and month.
“Let’s have a simple system, vaccinated people should be allowed to travel without restrictions.
“I mean, Grant Shapps was about it last night about maybe doing it in a month’s time.
“Why are you waiting for a month, if you’re fully vaccinated, and that’s considered to be 60 percent of the UK adult population.
“There should be no restrictions on those people going to Europe and equally no restrictions on European visitors coming to London in the UK if they are fully vaccinated.
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“They’re not a risk, they’re not a threat, and I think it would also undermine Mrs Merkel’s somewhat stupid somehow British arrivals into Germany should isolate for five days.
“Why? The UK is the most vaccinated country in Europe.”
Ms Burley said Ms Merkel’s concern was due to the high rate of infection in the UK and concerns the variants which have gripped the country could spread further.
Ms Merkel told other EU nations ahead of a Thursday summit that she wanted to see “better coordination” to fight the Delta/Indian variant in the UK.
She said in a statement: “In our country, if you come from Great Britain, you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country.
“And that’s what I would like to see.
“The pandemic is not over yet… we are still walking on thin ice.”
Mr Shapps announced on Thursday that 16 more countries would be added to the travel green list with several added to the green watchlist.
The new watchlist means the Government is concerned the destination could be moved to the amber or red list as the data may suggest a surge in cases.
But some travel bosses and holidaymakers have criticised the green watchlist as it has meant many do not trust visiting those countries.
They fear a repeat of Portugal will happen which was quickly placed on the amber list following a swarm of holiday bookings when it reopened for travel.
Israel, Maderia and the Caribbean Islands are part of the 17 territories on the green watchlist.
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