Ryanair Likens Ireland’s Travel Policy To North Korea

Ryanair today likened Ireland’s travel restrictions to North Korea, while once again calling for the state to implement a COVID-19 travel policy. The statement comes a week after the airline threatened to pull out of Ireland for the winter.

Ryanair, Ireland Green List, North Korea
Ryanair today likened Ireland’s travel restrictions to North Korea. Photo: Pitor Mitelski via Ryanair

Countries around the world have been forced to re-evaluate their travel policies as they look to cut the number of COVID-19 cases being imported. However, each nation is going about this in a slightly different manner. Some require COVID-19 tests, while other countries, such as Canada, have implemented a blanket 14-day quarantine for all arrivals.

What’s the deal in Ireland

Ireland has been sticking to a travel corridor approach. This means that arrivals from countries placed on the state’s ‘green list’ are free to enter the country. However, all others must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Ryanair, along with others, has an issue with how the Green List has been decided.

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In total, just ten countries have the honor of being included. Those with an asterisk have quarantine policies for arriving from Ireland:

  • Estonia*
  • Finland*
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary*
  • Italy
  • Latvia*
  • Lithuania*
  • Norway*
  • Slovakia
Ryanair, Ireland Green List, North Korea
Ryanair only allows quarantine-free arrivals from 10 countries. Photo: Ryanair

Ryanair is eager to see more countries added to the list, especially those with a lower rate of COVID-19 transmission than in Ireland itself.

Likened to North Korea

In today’s attack on the Irish government’s travel policy, Irish LCC Ryanair called on the government to lift ‘North Korea travel restrictions.’ Next week, the EU Commission is set to roll out a coordinated approach to resuming freedom of moment within the EU.

Ryanair is appealing to Ireland to adopt these measures to allow travel between the state and the UK, Germany, and Sweden, among others. According to the airline, all of these countries have significantly lower COVID-19 case rates than Ireland.

Ryanair, Ireland Green List, North Korea
Today the airline called on Ireland to adopt a new EU wide proposal. Photo: Ryanair

Commenting, a Ryanair spokesperson said,

“Ryanair calls on the Irish Government to… immediately adopt these sensible and practical EU Commission proposals. NPHET have mismanaged the reopening of the Irish economy, and they have spectacularly mismanaged Ireland’s Green List, which has continued to lock down Ireland – like North Korea – since July…”

What policies do other EU countries have?

Like across the world, the policies between EU countries differ like a patchwork. Take the United Kingdom, for example. While it is not on Ireland’s Green List, travelers from the Common Travel Area are not required to fill out a locator form. All others are required to, with some having to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival.

In Germany, the situation is slightly different. The Robert Koch Institute maintains a list of high-risk countries. Currently, all those arriving from such countries can escape having to quarantine with a COVID-19 test. However, soon those coming from high-risk countries will have to quarantine for five days before being able to take a COVID-19 test.

What do you think of Ryanair comparing Ireland’s travel restrictions to North Korea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.