Ryanair has condemned the decision by the UK government to move Portugal to the amber travel of travel destinations.
The low-cost carrier said the move had no basis in public health or medical science.
Branding the decision “bizarre,” Ryanair said the decision now requires vaccinated UK citizens returning from Portugal to quarantine for 10-days.
This is despite the fact that 75 per cent of UK adults have now received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Vaccine rates in Portugal are rapidly catching up with UK levels, with over 40 per cent of adults in the country having now received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “Boris Johnson’s government is again mismanaging the Covid-19 recovery.
“This stop-go-stop approach to short-haul travel in Europe is inexplicable and unjustified when 75 per cent of the UK population has now received a Covid-19 vaccine.
“There is no medical or public health reason for moving Portugal from the green to the amber list, when its Covid case rates are as low as the UK at just 50 per 100,000 population, and the vaccine rollout programme in Portugal has exceeded 40 per cent and is rapidly catching up with UK levels.”
Ryanair also condemned transport minister, Grant Shapps, failure to add other destinations to the UK green list, such as Malta, which has now overtaken the UK with almost 80 per cent of its population receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.
Covid-19 case rates in Malta are just 12 per 100,000 population, less than a quarter of the rate in the UK.
“UK citizens who have already booked travel to Portugal deserve an explanation why vaccinated UK citizens are required to quarantine when returning from a country which has similarly low Covid-19 case rates as the UK,” added O’Leary.
“Transport minister Shapps should also explain why those countries such as Malta, or Islands such as the Balearics and the Canaries, who have significantly lower Covid-19 case rates than the UK, have not been added to the UK green list to allow UK families a well-earned holiday in June, July and August, particularly when those UK families have already been vaccinated.”
He concluded: “This is sadly further evidence that the Johnson government just makes it up as they go along, and this stop-go-stop approach to international travel is damaging for the UK and for millions of UK families.”