Ryanair boss warns Brits will ignore 'useless' 14-day quarantine rules

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary warns most Britons will ignore ‘useless’ 14-day quarantine rules when arriving in the UK and will get away with writing ‘Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney Street’ on their arrival card

  • Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary says arriving Brits will ignore quarantine rules
  • O’Leary believes the ‘unimplementable’ plans would be quietly scrapped
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps oppose the plans

Most Britons will simply ignore ‘unimplementable’ new quarantine rules for travellers arriving in the UK, the boss of Ryanair has said.

Michael O’Leary claimed holidaymakers would get away with writing ‘Mickey Mouse, 1 Walt Disney Street’ on their arrival form landing back in the UK because the authorities will be powerless to enforce the ‘useless’ policy.

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s quarantine plan, which from June 8 will require anyone entering the UK to self-isolate for two weeks, appeared to torpedo Britons’ hopes of a European summer holiday.

But in an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mr O’Leary predicted the rules would be ‘quietly dropped’ or ‘formally withdrawn’ by the end of June because they won’t work.

He said: ‘You can fill up your arrival card as Mickey Mouse, 1 Walt Disney Street, London SW22 – they’ll take the cards and off you go. So it’s a complete shambles.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary claimed holidaymakers would get away with writing ‘Mickey Mouse, 1 Walt Disney Street’ on their arrival form landing back in the UK because the authorities will be powerless to enforce the ‘useless’ policy

‘The Home Office, Border Force and police will all tell you quietly, and off the record, it [quarantine] is completely unimplementable.’

Under the quarantine plans, anyone arriving in Britain will have to give details of where they will be quarantining and a phone number.

Lying about the details will be a criminal offence and immigration officers are expected to have the power to hand out £100 fines too.

But the forms are not expected to be linked to passports, so guards will have to manually check they are completed properly.

There is a row in Whitehall over the policy, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps leading opposition.

But No 10 sources insisted last night they were firmly behind the plan, and allies of Priti Patel said the risk of a second infection wave meant quarantine was crucial.

They said: ‘As we get Covid-19 under control here, we can’t start importing more cases.’

Under the quarantine plans, anyone arriving in Britain will have to give details of where they will be quarantining and a phone number (file photo)

Ryanair plans to operate about 1,000 flights a day from July 1 to travel hotspots such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, which all intend to welcome holidaymakers.

The budget airline’s chief executive revealed he will slash flight prices by half to fill up seats in a ‘pile them high, sell them cheap’ war on struggling rivals.

Mr O’Leary claimed the quarantine policy was pushed through only because the Prime Minister had announced it live on television.

‘Most of the politicians and civil servants have already told us the only reason it got introduced was because Boris blurted it out two weeks ago at one of the Downing Street press briefings and they didn’t want to be seen to have a U-turn,’ he said.

The outspoken Irishman also criticised proposals to set up so-called airbridges – dropping the quarantine requirement for countries with low infection rates.

‘Airbridges are even more nonsense – nobody can explain what an airbridge is,’ he said. ‘It’s just normal flights. It’s just rubbish.’ Ryanair will ask all passengers to wear face masks but will not implement social distancing on board. 

Mr O’Leary claimed the quarantine policy was pushed through only because the Prime Minister had announced it live on television (file photo)

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