Ryanair calls on government to lift air travel restrictions, says they're "like North Korea" 2 weeks ago

Ryanair calls on government to lift air travel restrictions, says they're "like North Korea"

The airline also accused NPHET of masquerading as "experts".

Ryanair has released a statement attacking Ireland's current Covid-19 safety measures, specifically our travel restrictions, accusing the government of "restricting air travel like North Korea".

The statement called on the government to lift the travel restrictions currently in place and to commit to implementing the EU Commission’s coordinated plan for intra-EU air travel.

Ryanair also said that The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), who have been advising the government on the implementation of public health restrictions, have been masquerading as "experts", and that the Green List has failed.

The statement reads: "NPHET – who masquerade as “experts”, but are in fact a group of Dept of Health Civil Servants – have terrified the Irish Government into imposing Europe’s tightest air travel restrictions since 1 July last, effectively preventing Irish citizens travelling to the UK, Germany, or many other EU States, all of whom have lower Covid case rates than Ireland.

"This failed Green List is the latest example of NPHET’s mismanagement coming on top of their failure to protect the nursing homes, meat factories, their delay in mandating face masks and their failure to implement an effective test and trace system in Ireland. Ireland’s aviation and tourism sectors are being devastated by this Dept of Health mismanagement and NPHET’s incompetence."

A spokesperson for Ryanair added: "After months of NPHET mismanagement of face masks, and travel restrictions, these EU Commission proposals are proportionate, sensible and reflect the successful policies followed by EU States like Germany and Italy, who allowed safe intra-EU air travel since 1 July, but have maintained significantly lower Covid case rates than NPHET has managed here in Ireland, despite restricting air travel like North Korea.

"Ryanair calls on the Irish Government to ignore the mismanagement by NPHET of international air travel and immediately adopt these sensible and practical EU Commission proposals.

"NPHET have mismanaged the reopening of the Irish economy, and they have spectacularly mismanaged Ireland’s Green List, which has continued to lock down Ireland – like North Korea – since July when many other EU States have allowed safe intra-EU air travel, but maintained significantly lower Covid case rates than Ireland, due to their superior test and tracing systems.

"It is time to end NPHET’s mismanagement and for Micheál Martin’s Government to lead the resumption of EU air travel, and promote some modest recovery of the Irish economy this winter."

The airline's statement can be read in full here.

Earlier this week, Leo Varadkar said that if Ireland is serious about living with the virus, then we must increase air travel to and from the country.