What Ryanair’s ‘traffic light’ lawsuit means for vacationers
Ryanair and the UK’s largest airport group are suing the government over an alleged lack of transparency in the country’s “traffic light” system, which has allegedly hampered the aviation industry.
The low-cost carrier and Manchester Airports Group (MAG) “argue that ministers have not been clear” on how they decide which countries are safe travel destinations, “undermining consumer confidence to book flights. summer vacation “as the Covid-19 crisis continues, reports The Guardian.
The challenge to the High Court is due today – less than two weeks after the government’s first review of traffic light lists, which saw tourism hotspot Portugal suddenly go from green to l ‘orange.
Ryanair and MAG – which also operate Stansted and East Midlands airports – are demanding that the government disclose the Covid prevalence thresholds used to determine whether destinations are classified as red, orange or green, “as well as any additional criteria or information that informs the government decision-making, âthe newspaper said.
Announcing the lawsuit, Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary said: “I have never met a more incompetent f ****** bench of ministers.”
O’Leary said The telegraph that he had âno faithâ in Boris Johnson’s government after ministers âcompletely mismanaged the original lockdowns last year and reopening nowâ.
The legal challenge, he explained, was aimed at forcing the government to “be more transparent” about the traffic light system and “publish what exactly are the thresholds at which international travel … will be allowed to restart,” or to “obtain injunctions against the government generally on the back of vaccines which say that the longer lockdown restricts the freedom of movement of people”.
What happens next?
According to The Telegraph, “other airlines and travel industry operators” will be revealed as signatories to the legal challenge when court documents are filed. And The Guardian says Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps will be named accused.
Responding to the trial announcement, a government spokesperson said he could not comment on the court proceedings, but acknowledged that the travel industry was going through “difficult times.”
“Our traffic light system carefully manages the risk of new variants, and we have provided Â£ 7 billion to help support the industry during the pandemic,” the spokesperson said.
This funding increase has failed to appease industry bosses, however.
The managing directors of Jet2 and easyJet Holidays have criticized the government for failing to put destinations such as Mallorca on the green list of countries Britons can visit without having to self-isolate after returning home. Jet2 boss Steve Heapy told the BBC that he was “puzzled” as to why low-infection destinations had not been included.
But despite the growing number of critics, experts say the government is unlikely to add more countries to the green list before the end of this summer.
The Telegraph’s Home Affairs Editor Charles Hymas reports that âToni Mayor, the head of the Hosbec Association of Hoteliers in the Valencia region, said he did not expect UK tourism to take off until August, following a meeting with Hugh Elliott, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom âin Spain. And heads of Turkish tourists “received a similar message” after meeting with officials from the UK Foreign Office, who reported that travel restrictions outside the UK would not be lifted until early August. , writes Hymas.
In the meantime, said the Daily mailJuly, which is generally the busiest and most profitable month of the summer season, is shaping up to be a âbig blowâ for the travel industry.
What does this mean for vacationers?
As the government’s green list shrinks, many Britons are canceling their vacation abroad plans for the second year in a row.
However, some vacationers are still hoping to escape, but will need to quickly book flights to countries that can be visited without having to quarantine themselves afterwards.
Recently released data from the price comparison site Skyscanner reveals that “the number of seats sold for flights to Gibraltar increased by 115% in the first week of this month compared to the previous week”, reports Time. Sales of flights to Iceland also increased by 40%.
Good news for future travelers?
Ministers are reportedly considering plans to allow return to England without quarantine from Orange List countries for UK travelers who have received two doses of a Covid vaccine. Those who are not fully vaccinated would still face the same travel restrictions.
Health Secretary Hancock is said to be “open” to change, as an incentive to vaccinate more British citizens, The telegraph reports.
If the idea were implemented, it “would effectively make countries orange-green for the vaccinated, opening up the possibility of travel without quarantine to most of the main holiday destinations in Europe and the United States,” the newspaper said.