Ryanair boss clashes with BBC News host on airport testing
Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary has slammed new “artificial travel” restrictions in the UK as he clashed with BBC News host Geeta Guru-Murthy over the UK government’s approach. The Ryanair boss claimed the “real solution” was vaccination and called on Boris Johnson to speed up the vaccine rollout.” From next week flights into the UK will require travellers to show proof of a negative covid test on arrival.
Mr O’Leary said: “You can’t seal your borders in countries of Europe where you have free movement of people, there is still free movement of people between the Republic of Ireland and the north of Ireland across the border.
“The real solution is vaccination, not artificial travel restrictions. Rollout the vaccination as Johnson has said will be delivered, you will have all of the high-risk groups, and that is the over-75s, the nursing homes and the NHS staff by the middle of February.
“Thereafter the government should be honest and say there will be no restriction after that once we achieve that date.
“Whether it is the middle of February or the end of February we don’t care.”
JUST IN: BBC News clash: China ambassador DENIES Wuhan is origin of coronavirus
He warned: “People who need to make travel arrangement for March need to know if there is going to be any flights”
“There certainly aren’t going to be any flights in February, they need to know with some certainty if there will be flights in March.
“The Johnson government needs to tell is that.”
Host Guru-Murthy then interrupted the Ryanair boss to ask: “What about all the other at-risk groups who will definitely go behind mid-February.”
Mr O’Learly replied: “Ninety-five per cent of the deaths arising from COVID-19 arise in the age groups that are over seventy-five. Once you have protected them are you going to continue to lock up the children, the teenagers, the twenty-year-old who are largely asymptomatic.”
READ MORE: UK arrivals need to show proof of negative covid test or face fine
Dr Hilary warns about ‘scammers’ exploiting Covid vaccine rollout
The Ryanair boss has not been alone in his doubts as CEO of travel consultancy, The PC Agency, Paul Charles, also voiced his concerns on BBC News today.
“I welcome the fact that the government is finally putting this in place,” said Charles, “as always, though, it’s the detail when you look at it closer that sometimes doesn’t stack up.”
He continued: “For example, if you’re on holiday abroad at any point in the future and you have to get a test urgently within 72 hours, will you get those results back in time before you then have to get on your flight or your ferry or your Eurostar and return to the UK?
“There’s a lot of minutiae and detail that the government has not yet released about the exact nature of the test that they’re prepared to accept.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this morning confirmed that most covid tests would be accepted in terms of PCR tests, lateral flow tests or so-called LAMP tests.
However, Charles explained he was anxious about the need for a “certain specification to be met”.
“I’m concerned this is a recipe for chaos at the check-in desk,” he said. “You can imagine turning up with your test certificate which you think is acceptable, but which in turn turns out not to be because it doesn’t meet the specificity that the government are looking for.
“It’s a recipe for chaos I think and, as always with these rules, they’re not properly thought out.”
Source: Read Full Article