Ryanair to sue UK government over pandemic border policy

Ryanair to sue UK government over pandemic border policy

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair plane takes off from Manchester Airport as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Manchester, Britain June 21, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) – Ryanair and the owner of three major English airports are preparing to sue the UK government over the ‘traffic light’ system it has put in place for international travel, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The Irish airline and Manchester Airports Group said they will lodge High Court papers on Thursday to seek a judicial review over the transparency of the system, the report said.

Under the government rules, travellers returning from green countries take COVID-19 tests but do not need to quarantine. Amber country arrivals require a period of self-isolation at home as well as the tests and red country arrivals quarantine in a hotel plus tests.

With the summer holiday season fast approaching, few countries are on the green list and the way the system has been managed has been criticised by the airline industry.

“The current opaque way that decisions are being made is undermining consumer confidence in the traffic-light system and makes it impossible for airports, airlines and other travel companies to plan for the recovery of international travel or work with the government on future reviews,” the report quoted the two companies as saying.

Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The report said the court papers will argue that the government should clearly explain how it makes decisions when categorising countries, given the “dramatic” impact these decisions have on the aviation industry.

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