UK airlines launch legal action against government quarantine rules
British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have launched a combined legal action against what they have branded a “flawed” quarantine introduced by the government earlier this week.
From Monday travellers arriving by plane, ferry or train - including UK nationals - must give an address where they will self-isolate.
They are requested to self-isolate for two weeks, with rule breakers fined £1,000.
Home secretary, Priti Patel, said the laws were designed “to prevent a second wave” of coronavirus.
However, the move has been roundly condemned by the travel sector.
In a statement, the three airlines said: “The UK government’s flawed quarantine which will have a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs.
“We have asked for their judicial review to be heard as soon as possible.”
Low-cost carrier Low Ryanair has previously branded the process “useless”.
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 are also exemptions for workers in some industries such as road haulage and medical professionals who are providing essential care.
The three carriers have asked the government to become more selective with the application of quarantine.
The statement added: “We have not yet seen any evidence on how and when proposed ‘air bridges’ between the UK and other countries will be implemented.
“Instead, they want the government to re-adopt its previous quarantine policy introduced on March 10th, where quarantine is limited to passengers from ‘high risk’ countries.
“This would be the most practical and effective solution and enables civil servants to focus on other, more significant, issues arising from the pandemic while bringing the UK in line with much of Europe which is opening its borders mid-June.”
BA, Ryanair and easyJet argue there is no scientific evidence for such a severe policy quarantine policy, while the government is also banning people travelling to and from countries with lower infection rates than the UK.
They also argue the quarantine, by criminal law, is more stringent than the guidelines applied to people who actually have Covid-19.