Europe

‘Idiots!’ Ryanair boss calls for anti-vaxxers to be banned from flights amid Omicron spike

Ryanair CEO demands UK adopts European system

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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the aviation industry has suffered record-low traffic. Now, with the rise of the Omicron variant looking to cause a ten percent fall in Ryanair’s passengers, the airlines boss Michael O’Leary savaged those who refuse to take a Covid vaccine.

Mr O’Leary insisted that only those vaccinated against Covid should be allowed to take flights, and those who refuse were “idiots”.

He said: “I don’t think that Governments should permit those people who are not vaccinated to go and infect everybody else.

“If you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t be allowed in the hospital, you shouldn’t be allowed to fly, you shouldn’t be allowed on the London Underground, and you shouldn’t be allowed in the local supermarket or your pharmacy either.

“You can sit at home and you know, get your deliveries of medicines and food.

“But you should not, you know, go to work or go on public transport unless you have a vaccine certificate.”

Speaking about anti-vaxxers, he said: “We recognise the rights of everybody to decide not to get vaccinated if you so want.

“If you personally object to vaccination, because it’s some huge government/big pharma conspiracy; apart from the fact that you would be plainly an idiot, we respect your right to be an idiot.”

Since the vaccine rollout began in December 2020, 51,393,664 first doses, 46,923,788 second doses and 26,338,651 booster doses have been administered.

According to the Government’s data, 89.4 percent of those over 12 have had one dose, 81.6 percent have had two and 45.8 percent have had a booster.

Speaking to the Telegraph, however, Mr O’Leary cast doubts on whether mandatory vaccines would be a workable policy.

In an interview with the outlet, Mr O’Leary said: “That is an infringement of your civil liberties.

“But you simply make life so difficult. Or [make it that] there are lots of things that you can’t do unless you get vaccinated.”

Mr O’Leary also said that the rise of Omicron mean Ryanair is expecting 1million less passengers in December.

He added: “If there’s continuing uncertainty over Christmas on further restrictions or some kind of further restrictions, then January will be weak and the forward bookings in Easter and next summer will be weak – so we just don’t know.”

It comes after Ryanair has been mocking Boris Johnson on social media overs reports of Christmas parties held by officials during Covid restrictions last December.

On December 8, Ryanair shared its first meme featuring the Prime Minister where he appeared in a Love Actually-themed campaign video.

With the caption “p***take actually”, the airline mocked Mr Johnson’s alleged Downing Street parties.

On December 13, the airline posted a parody of the Covid alert levels comparing stages of the outbreak with Downing Street party levels.

It also comes after Ryanair’s chief executive Eddie Wilson signed a letter together with other airlines regarding the government’s Covid response.

It read: “As leaders of UK airlines, we are deeply concerned about the haphazard and disproportionate approach by government to travel restrictions following the emergence of the omicron variant.

“Whilst we fully recognise the need to take steps to contain the initial impact of the omicron variant, travel has been singled out with the introduction of disproportionate restrictions.

“Further, pre-departure and upon-arrival testing clearly add very little value to our Covid protection, but unnecessarily disrupt Christmas for families as well as businesses while severely damaging the UK travel industry. “

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