Ryanair To Keep Flying Travellers To Spain Despite UK Quarantine Rules
Ryanair will not be stopping flights from the UK to Spain, despite new quarantine rules which came into effect from Midnight, Sunday, July 26.
Travellers arriving in the UK from Spain must now self-isolate for a two week period. These quarantine measures were implemented mere hours after they were announced, giving Brits holidaying in Spain precious little time to digest the information and sort out plans for their return.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office has now also advised against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain following a reported surge of recent coronavirus outbreaks in the country.
A Ryanair spokesperson told UNILAD that ‘Ryanair schedules between UK – Spain are operating normally’. The spokesperson did not advise, when asked, how the airline would be working to keep customers safe.
According to a press release, Ryanair will be operating roughly 40% of its July schedule, with the aim of increasing to 60% during August and potentially 70% during September.
Europe’s largest holiday company Tui, has cancelled all holidays from the UK to mainland Spain up until August 9. Both easyJet and Jet2 will be maintaining a full schedule.
British Airways will also still be operating flights. The leading airline has criticised the government’s decision, saying the move would be ‘throwing thousands of Britons’ travel plans into chaos’.
As of this morning, Ryanair’s share price fell 8% in early trading, with Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan describing the UK government’s recent decision as ‘regrettable’, during an interview with Reuters.
Ryanair has reportedly suffered its ‘most challenging’ quarter in 35 years of operation. The airline carried 500,000 passengers between the months of April and June compared with 41.9 million during the same period in 2019.
This comes at a challenging time for the aviation industry as a whole, with tourism and travel having taken a particularly big hit during the ongoing pandemic. It’s feared these new measures will cause further damage to business and livelihoods.
Speaking at a press conference, Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya emphasised that new outbreaks had been isolated and were now under control, stating:
Spain is safe, it is safe for Spaniards, it is safe for tourists.
UNILAD caught up with tech PR professional Helena, from London, who will be flying to Spain on August 13, regardless of quarantine measures.
Fortunately, Helena is able to work remotely and is looking forward to heading out to Spain for ‘a serious dose of vitamin D’.
Helena told UNILAD how she has not been put off by the quarantine measures, explaining:
As my work is flexible working and offers remote working this wasn’t going to be a problem for me in terms of quarantining or working (also there is a pizza shop right below me which will suffice for 14 days..)
I am curious to see how RyanAir deliver on the flight and to see if they up the precautions. As this is my first flight during COVID-19 I am a little nervous to see how the process goes.
However, although Helena’s circumstances mean these measures will hopefully not affect her work and responsibilities too much, there are those who have been left angered by how quickly the measures came into effect following the announcement.
For those who don’t have the option to work remotely, getting another two weeks off work will prove difficult and could well land them in serious trouble.
UNILAD spoke with leadership specialist Michelle Chikanda, who lives between London and Barcelona. She had travelled over to Ibiza following an ‘intense schedule in a post-lockdown London’. She could not have guessed that the UK government would choose to act so quickly.
Michelle told UNILAD:
Before leaving Barcelona, it looked like they were going to impose lockdown again so we decided to leave for Ibiza two days early.
Barcelona is caught between a political power struggle between Madrid and Catalonia, so people do not have accurate info from one moment to the next (story for another day).
On day five of a ten day break, quarantine was announced. I now have to re-think my entire schedule for August and my holiday has turned into frantic rescheduling and a reversion to zoom and remote attendance.
There is currently a petition for the Balearic and Canary islands to be removed from the UK’s 14 day quarantine measures, with the hopes of alleviating further strain to an already struggling tourism industry.
Although the travel warning given by the UK government doesn’t actually affect the Balaeric and Canary Islands, those visiting must still self-isolate after arriving back in the UK. The petition has gained over 55,000 signatures at the time of writing.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.
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