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Ryanair CEO says Ireland is the “laughing stock of Europe”

DUBLIN: The CEO of Ryanair criticizes Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine law. Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson described Ireland as the “laughing stock of Europe” because of the mandatory hotel quarantine.

Mr. Wilson says law enforcement might work in countries outside of Europe, but he scoffed that it would not work for countries in the Common Travel Area. He accused the quarantine of being an “expensive stunt”.

He said: “You can’t quarantine against people coming from France, Italy, Belgium… as they’ll simply just go to Sweden, Germany or Holland and fly anyway. If you want to do it from India or somewhere that’s got a variant, where we don’t have a Common Travel Area… then you can enforce that.”

He denied criticism that he did not consider public health. The CEO added that he is convinced that the airline will not have business without public health. Mr. Wilson said that Ireland has already begun to lose routes and aviation business as a result of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

He said airlines need a roadmap for reopening. “I did a long-term deal with Stansted Airport for ten years… we’ve opened a base in Venice… we opened a base for [Croatia] in Zagreb… they’ve put in a programme for us to expand [in Sicily],” he said.

Dozens of countries are now on Ireland’s ‘red list’, including EU countries such as France, Italy and Belgium.

However, Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine law has been widely welcomed by public health experts. Such a system had been demanded since the beginning of the Pandemic. Some experts, including Dr. Gabriel Scally, have suggested that this should apply to people from all over the world.

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