Ryanair today urged the Irish government to lift “inappropriate and unnecessary” Covid travel curbs and hotel quarantine restrictions by the end of May.
The budget carrier wants limits lifted for travel to and from the UK and the European Union.
The airline cited improving vaccination levels across the EU and UK.
Ryanair said: “The UK have now first dose vaccinated more than 60% of its adult population, yet UK visitors that fly to Ireland are still required to quarantine for 14 days, when visitors from Northern Ireland can drive across the border with no restrictions whatsoever, and Irish citizens can travel to the UK without any quarantine.”
Chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “Thanks to the success of the UK’s vaccine programme, there is no justification for requiring visitors to Ireland from the UK – our major visitor market – to quarantine.
“The vast majority of the UK adult population have now received their first dose vaccination, and therefore pose no threat or risk to Ireland’s hospitals or health service.
“Equally as Ireland and other EU countries vaccine programmes exceed 33%, with most of the high-risk groups now fully vaccinated and with most of Europe on track to vaccinate 80% of its adult population with first dose vaccines by the end of June, there is no need or requirement for Ireland to maintain travel restrictions on UK and Intra-EU air travel from the end of May onwards.
“Ireland’s travel restrictions are now outdated, inappropriate and unnecessary for air travel to/from the UK, and the European Union, where successful vaccination programs have eliminated any risk to our hospitals and health services.
“It’s time our government got the country and our tourism industry back to work.
“Passengers all over Europe have been booking Ryanair flights in huge volumes over recent weeks as travel restrictions are lifted.
“It is inappropriate and unnecessary for Ireland to maintain its unique, and ineffective hotel quarantine system for EU visitors, the majority of whom will now be vaccinated, coming from the UK and Europe. Let’s end the travel restrictions on EU travel from the end of May.”