Ryanair calls for wider reopening of European travel

Ryanair has called on minister for transport, Grant Shapps, to open up international travel from all EU countries.

The low-cost carrier said the move could come as soon as the next revision of the green list of safe countries expected later this week.

Ryanair also urged Shapps to abolish travel restrictions for everyone that has been fully vaccinated and to scrap the current requirement to present a negative PCR test when coming back from EU green countries.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said: “The highly successful UK vaccine rollout has already enabled hundreds and thousands of British families to book their flights to Portugal this summer, and today we call on minister Shapps to include all EU countries in the next revision of the green list so UK holidaymakers can travel restriction-free to the beaches of Spain, Greece and Italy – all of whom have opened their doors to British visitors this summer.”

European holiday hotspots like Spain, Greece and Italy have already opened their doors to UK tourists – as UK adult vaccinations hit 75 per cent and with the EU on track to hit the 70 per cent target by the end of June, infections are dropping and restriction-free travel within Europe should be allowed this summer, Ryanair argued.

Having added Portugal to its travel green list in May, UK families have been flying in their droves to Lisbon, the Algarve and Porto.

Despite the lack of clarity around the amber list, hundreds of thousands of UK holidaymakers have already booked to sunshine favourites Spain, Italy and the Greek islands for June, July and August.

O’Leary added: “The UK government must scrap the nonsensical requirement of PCR tests for those returning from low-risk (green) countries.

“There is no point in setting up a traffic light system if ‘green’ still requires additional measures that significantly add to the cost of a family trip.

“There is no justification for the UK government to delay the removal of all travel restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated when research from Public Health England has demonstrated that two doses of the Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Indian variant.”