Ryanair Chief Calls New UK Travel Quarantine Policy a 'Political Stunt'

The new travel quarantine rules in the UK require travelers coming into the country to self-isolate for a period of 14 days

Chief Executive Officer of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, on Monday criticized the in effect new quarantine rules in the UK which requires travelers coming into the country to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

Calling it a "political stunt", he said, "You could be in Sainsbury's, you could be on the beach, you could be on the golf course in the unlikely event the Home Office calls you - all they will have is a mobile number."

Warns of Devastation In Ceratin Industries

He claimed even the Home Office acknowledged the rules were unenforceable, according to BBC. Some industries have warned they will be severely impacted by the rules, and O'Leary warned of devastation. But Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the laws were designed "to prevent a second wave" of coronavirus, adding the measures were "proportionate" and being implemented "at the right time".

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Under the new rules, those arriving in the UK should drive their own car to their destination, where possible, and once at their destination they must not use public transport or taxis, the BBC reported.

They must not go to work, school, or public areas, or have visitors - except for essential support. Those arriving in England and Northern Ireland could face a fine of 1,000 pounds if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days, while they face a 480 pounds fine in Scotland.

Airlines Set To Seek Judicial Review

The enforcement rules in Wales are not clear. Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man does not have to complete a form or enter quarantine. There were also exemptions for workers in some industries such as road haulage and medical professionals who are providing essential care.

Meanwhile, British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair have written to Procurator General Jonathan Jones, the government's most senior legal official - the first stage required when taking legal action against the government.

The airlines have said that they were prepared to ask for a judicial review into the government's travel quarantine rules.

(With inputs from agencies)