UK travel: Changes to departure testing outlined by Dixon
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The boss of the low cost carrier compared the UK’s policies on Omicron to Europe and said the UK had “mismanaged” the crisis. O’Leary said the UK response was shaped by “panic”.
Speaking to The Guardian, O’Leary said: “The panic (over Omicron) is largely confined to the UK and Ireland.
“Across the continent there’s been a much more reasoned approach.
“Where it’s really hit us has been the early weeks of December, bookings in and out of Ireland and the UK.
“The rest of the continent is still travelling for business and for leisure.” He told The Guardian that the UK economy was suffering from “p*s-poor political leadership”.
O’Leary claimed: “What deters booking is the whole uncertainty- this idea that if I travel abroad if the Government changes the rules in 24 hours I could be stranded, even if Covid-free and vaccinated.
“Travel only exists on a degree of confidence.
“People in the UK recognise that the Government there are idiots. You wouldn’t rely on Johnson or Grant Shapps, or Dominic Raab who can’t add or subtract – would you want your journey dependent on the intervention of those idiots? The answer is no.”
Speaking before the rising panic over the danger of the Omicron variant, O’Leary said Ryanair had had “no issues” in Europe.
He said: “They are all seeing an increase in case numbers but they’re not having the same kind of 24 hour panic.
“I don’t know if it is Johnson trying to cover his mismanagement of the Downing Street party shambles, who knows.”
O’Leary said he was in favour of Covid passports for travel, work and other activities.
He said: “We recognise your right to a choice, but if you want to be some independent-minded idiot, sit at home.
“Why should people working in hospitals treat you and put themselves at risk?”
O’Leary told The Independent: “I would support encouraging more and more of the unvaccinated minority to get vaccinated.
“Instead of introducing mandatory vaccination policies you have to make it more and more attractive for people to get vaccinated. So I would support limiting air travel to vaccinated people.”
The CEO said the airline was set to fly about 10 million people in December instead of a forecast 11 million.
He added Ryanair would cut capacity by about 10 percent in January. The budget carrier cancelled all its flights to Morocco until February following uncertainty over the country’s travel rules.
Ryanair recently caused a Twitter storm when the airline mocked the Government’s Covid rules with its own spoof version about the alleged Downing Street parties.
O’Leary added he had not seen it before publication but said: “I was very proud of it – I went over first thing yesterday (to the social media team) to say well done, let’s do more of them.”
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