BA, Ryanair and EasyJet push forward with lawsuit over quarantine restrictions

Jun 13, 2020

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Several of the U.K.’s largest airlines have come together to sue the government in an effort to overturn the country’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for all international arrivals.

British Airways, along with low-cost carriers Ryanair and EasyJet, announced on Friday that they would be asking for a judicial review to be heard as soon as possible.

Together, the group said that the government’s plan was “flawed” and that it “will have a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs.”

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The group is pushing the government to take a similar approach it did at the start of the coronavirus crisis, which outlined that arriving passengers from high-risk countries should self-isolate for two weeks on arrival into the U.K. That, versus the current restrictions, which force everyone to self-isolate for 14 days.

Related: Everything you need to know about the UK’s mandatory 14-day self-isolation for arriving travelers

“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,” the airlines said in a joint statement.

Last week, British Airways’ parent International Airlines Group wrote to the government to block the measure. However, the government went ahead with implementing the 14-day quarantine as of Monday, June 8. According to Bloomberg, IAG was left disappointed by the government response last week.

The Home Office declined to immediately comment on the airlines’ move to sue.

The aviation and travel industries have been some of the most affected amid the coronavirus crisis. Airlines and the larger U.K. tourism industry have largely opposed the government’s 14-day quarantine since it was first announced, saying that it would further hurt their already-crippled industries.

Despite the U.K.’s 14-day quarantine restriction, which went into effect on Monday and will be reviewed every three weeks, EasyJet, BA and Ryanair have announced their flying plans for the summer.

EasyJet plans to relaunch some domestic service beginning 15 June before resuming 75% of its network by August. Fellow low-cost carrier Ryanair said that it plans to resume 40% of its flying beginning 1 July. Meanwhile, BA, which said that it plans to take a “meaningful return to service” in July, is showing that it will operate 29 long-haul routes beginning that month.

Featured photo by Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

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