Ryanair has spoken out against the government’s latest guidance for air passengers regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has urged travellers not to take hand luggage into cabins, and to check them instead.
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The government advice states: “You are strongly encouraged to check-in baggage to the aircraft hold and minimise any hand baggage.
“This will speed up boarding and disembarking and minimise the risk of transmission.”
However, the Irish-air carrier rejected this advice, and instead offered its own suggestion.
Ryanair said passengers could, and in fact, should focus on taking hand luggage as this actually safer.
Despite what the government suggest, Ryanair also recommends passengers should “minimise checked-in luggage” according to Reuters.
The airline pointed out that hand luggage is only handled by the passenger, and limits any risk of physical contact with other persons.
Meanwhile, checked-in luggage must be handled by multiple people in order to get from the check-in desk to the plane’s hold.
Passengers flying with Ryanair, which is set to resume a chunk of its flight schedule in July, are advised to take one or two carry-on bags to minimise physical contact with others.
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As of July 1, Ryanair has plans to operate over 1,000 daily flights serving 90 percent of networks across its 80 European bases.
In August, the airline is expected to further ramp up its offering.
In recent weeks, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has tackled the government on many of its rules relating to the travel industry.
Mr O’Leary has been vocal with regards to the government’s current mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all international arrivals into the UK.
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Under current rules, anyone arriving into the UK from overseas, with the exception of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, must enter into a period of self-isolation where they can not leave their home unless in an emergency.
Arrivals must hand over the address of the home they plan to isolate in, and may be visited by officials at any time.
Anyone found to be in breach of the quarantine could face a fine of up to £1,000.
However, the Ryanair CEO says that the rule is both “irrational” and “ineffective”.
Mr O’Leary said: “I want the travel quarantine overturned because it is irrational, ineffective and unimplementable.
“An effective quarantine can work but the problem with the UK Government is they have been late to every party.
“They were late to lockdown, they were letting people in for Cheltenham and European football matches.
“They have been late at almost every hand’s turn and now they are introducing a quarantine that is clearly a political stunt.
“Simply because it is not a quarantine, it has no medical effect and if you do fill in the form on arrival today, all you give is your mobile number.”
Mr O’Leary added that the measure will also be detrimental to the air industry, something that has been echoed by fellow airlines including British Airways and easyJet.
“What it is going to do is bring untold devastation,” he stated.
“Not just to the airlines but to British tourism and thousands of hotels.
“Thousands of visitor attractions and restaurants in the next couple of months.
“July and August are the key months for the British tourism industry and we are facing thousands of job losses because of a stupid ineffective quarantine.”
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