Ryanair's Michael O'Leary insists passengers won't be "on top of each other" as flights resume 1 month ago

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary insists passengers won't be "on top of each other" as flights resume

"We will not allow you to board the aircraft unless you are wearing a face mask."

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary has insisted that passengers won't be "on top of each other" as flights resume across Europe.

The budget airline is operating a 40% increased flight schedule from today, 1 July, in a bid to increase air travel from Ireland, the UK and the rest of Europe.

Videos shared on social media have depicted busy Ryanair flights featuring all passengers wearing face masks. However, there remains concerns that social distancing measures cannot be adhered to in such close quarters.

"Wearing face masks, and all of our staff and our passengers will be wearing face masks, is the way we minimise very small percentages of the risk of spread of Covid," O'Leary told Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain.

"But what is the social distancing rule, because we've just seen footage inside of the aircraft and they're all on top of each other?" asked Reid.

"Well, they're not on top of each other, they're all seated onboard an aircraft wearing face masks," responded O'Leary.

"We need to get back to some degree of normality. We can't live our lives sitting isolated at home.

"We are going to have to go back to work, people are going to take trains, the London Underground, and planes (...) We will not allow you to board the aircraft unless you are wearing a face mask."

This comes as amid fears that travelling abroad this summer will increase the risk of further cases of the virus among travellers.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan and the Department of Foreign Affairs have advised against non-essential travel, with the former saying that there has been a "worrying" increase of active cases in the country already.

"We’d like people not to travel," he said.

"For people who have made bookings, it makes much more sense not to go ahead with [them] than travelling abroad and risk picking up this infection.

"It’s a risk for you, for any family member you’re travelling with or indeed any close contacts you have. I think that would be, not just in your individual interest, but in our collective interest."