Ryanair boss in startling admission on UK travel as thousands of Britons book holidays

Travel: Ryanair CEO admits he 'doesn't understand' UK rules

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Michael O’Leary revealed there was a huge surge in travellers booking holidays despite the amber and red list restrictions as he revealed hundreds and thousands were booking flights each day. The Ryanair boss said flight costs are expected to skyrocket as travel becomes more in demand. But despite the apparent boom in the travel sector which has been hit hardest by the pandemic, Mr O’Leary gave a shocking admission on the rules during a chat with ITV Political Editor Robert Peston.

Appearing on ITV’s Peston, Mr O’Leary was frankly asked whether he understood the travel rules. 

He replied: “No, and I think most of the UK population doesn’t understand them either Robert. 

“But I’m happy to say that for the past four weeks they’ve been booking in their droves.

“Mainly, I think they’re booking into June, July, August and September and people are ignoring the short-term restrictions.

“They’re working out that they’ll be safe to fly in late June and July went the school holidays come around and they’re looking in their hundreds of thousands on a daily basis.”

The Government has been criticised for its confusing rules on international travel with different government ministers giving contradicting advice. 

Environment Minister George Eustice said it was ok to visit amber list countries to visit friends but Health Secretary Matt Hancock advised against all forms of travel except if absolutely necessary.

International travel restarted on May 17 as Britons were allowed to travel without essential reasons. 

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However, countries remain on restrictive lists which determine whether quarantine is required on return. 

Green list countries mean travellers do not have to quarantine on return if a Covid test comes back negative. 

Amber lists countries require people to fill out passenger locator forms, take tests and quarantine at home for ten days. 

Finally, red list countries will have passengers quarantining in a government hotel, paid for by themselves, for ten days for monitoring and testing. 


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But there has been general confusion over the rules as travellers do not know if they can go on holiday to amber list countries. 

Passengers have also reported travellers from red and amber list countries have been mixing with green list holidaymakers at border checks – negating the reason for the separate rules. 

Many also wonder why the amber list exists at all as travel to dangerous places should require strict quarantine regardless.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps appeared on Sky News and clarified that the amber list is the default list every country is put on with each one having its coronavirus rate and vaccination programme studied to gauge the travel danger. 

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LBC revealed earlier this week that 110 flights from India have entered the UK since it was added to the red list on April 23. 

While travel from red list countries is not entirely banned, travel to and from locations that have been identified as having a variant of concern has. 

Brazil and South Africa have been banned for those reasons. 

Political critics claim the decision to not ban Indian travel was down to the UK aiming to secure a £1billion trade deal with the country with Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to visit there. 

LBC estimates around several thousands of Indian passengers would have entered the UK since it was put on the red list.

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