BA, easyJet and Ryanair in legal bid to overturn quarantine policy

A group of leading airlines has launched a legal bid to overturn the Government’s 14-day quarantine policy.

British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair announced they started the action against the “flawed” policy, claiming it will “have a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy, and destroy thousands of jobs”.

The airlines announced they have asked for a judicial review to be heard “as soon as possible.”

They said they have seen no evidence of when proposed air bridges between the UK and other countries will be implemented.

Instead, they want the Government to re-adopt the policy it introduced on March 10, which saw passengers from countries deemed at high risk of coronavirus infection being order to self-isolate on arrival in the UK.

The three airlines said in a joint statement: “This would be the most practical and effective solution, and enables civil servants to focus on other, more significant issues arising from the pandemic while bringing the UK in line with much of Europe which is opening its borders mid-June.”

Meanwhile, Ryanair has branded Government guidelines urging airline passengers to check in all their luggage as “rubbish”.

The Irish carrier said it would continue to recommend its customers “minimise checked in luggage”, despite the Department for Transport stating that travellers are “strongly encouraged to check in baggage” to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Checked bags have to be handled by several different airport workers whereas only the passenger touches their hand luggage, Ryanair stated.

The DfT guidance claims reducing the amount of hand luggage taken on board planes will “speed up boarding and disembarking, and minimise the risk of transmission”.

But Ryanair insisted its management of hand luggage means “the boarding process speed is not affected”.

An airline spokeswoman said: “In attempting to minimise physical contact during the travel process, particularly on short haul flights, Ryanair recommends passengers to minimise checked in bags and, where possible, confine themselves to one or two carry-on bags.

“The UK DfT should stop issuing rubbish advice to passengers about baggage and instead focus their efforts on scrapping the UK’s useless visitor quarantine which the UK Home Office now admit cannot be implemented, supervised or policed effectively.”

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