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'We're not endangering lives': Michael O'Leary criticises 14-day self-isolation period for visitors

Ryanair's Chief Executive has rejected claims lives would be endangered by opening up the country to tourists.

Michael O'Leary's strongly criticised the requirement for visitors here to self isolate for 14 days.

People arriving at ports and airports have to provide their address and contact details.

The head of the budget airline says other countries experiences cannot be ignored.

"Are you seriously telling me that the leading scientists and medical advisors in Italy, in Spain and Portugal and Germany and France are endangering lives?" asked Mr O'Leary.

"We're not endangering lives. We are actually following some idiotic science that only exists here in Ireland.

"There is no scientific basis for saying people coming into Ireland from countries in Europe which have a lower R rating than Ireland should fill in a piece of paper.

"But the people coming in from the UK which has a higher R rate than Ireland, you can work away, you can go into the community."

Government guidelines asking those who arrive in Ireland to self-isolate for a period of 14 days remain in place.

According to the HSE, the only people who do not need to self-isolate are people who are:

  • arriving in the State from Northern Ireland

  • briefly stopping over at an airport or port on their way to Northern Ireland or another jurisdiction

  • leaving the airport or port to travel overseas or to Northern Ireland, but not staying overnight in the State

  • aircraft crew, including pilots, in Ireland as part of their work duties

  • holders of a Certificate for International Transport Workers, or drivers of a heavy goods vehicle, who are in Ireland for this work

  • ship crew, including the maritime master, in the course of performing their duties

    Passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are required to complete a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form.

    The form requires passengers to provide an address for where they will be staying in Ireland and personal contact details.

    Failure to complete the form and give it to the relevant person is punishable by a fine of up to €2,500 or a jail term of up to six months, or both.

    The information provided on the forms may be used to follow-up on passengers to ensure people who have travelled to Ireland are staying where they had said they would.

    Forms can also be used for contact tracing purposes should there be a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 on a flight or ferry coming into Ireland.

    Passengers arriving into Ireland and immediately travelling onwards to the North will have to fill out a portion of the form.