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Ryanair chief urges further relaxation of overseas travel curbs

Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary has increased pressure on transport secretary Grant Shapps to open up more destinations for international travel.

His intervention comes ahead of the next review of the government’s traffic light system expected on Thursday for introduction on June 7.

The no-frills carrier also urged Shapps to abolish travel restrictions for everyone who has been fully vaccinated.

Ryanair also wants the government to scrap the current requirement to present a negative PCR test when returning from EU green countries, which only adds cost and stress to UK citizens despite returning from low-risk EU destinations.


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

Ryanair has extended its zero-change fee for all new bookings made before September 30, for travel by December 31.

Group chief executive O’Leary 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 Grant Shapps to include all EU countries in the next revision of the UK’s 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.

“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 C-19 vaccines are highly effective against the Indian variant.

“We look forward to seeing all of Europe open to restriction-free travel for British families this summer, and to welcoming millions of British guests on board very soon.”

More: Ryanair returns to Belfast City after 11 years

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