(BBC) – British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair — three of the largest airlines in Europe — are together taking legal action against the UK government over its compulsory 14-day quarantine required for all new arrivals.
The airlines are seeking a judicial review which would overturn the rule, the trio told Business Insider in a joint statement Friday.
The airlines said the “government’s flawed quarantine” will have “a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs.”
The legal basis for the complaint is based on the premise that the 14-day quarantine is “more stringent than the guidelines applied to people who actually have COVID-19,” the airlines said.
“There was no consultation and no scientific evidence provided for such a severe policy,” they said.
They added that they want the government to revert to the policy introduced on March 10, where “quarantine is limited to passengers from ‘high risk’ countries.”
Last month, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary called the 14-day quarantine “idiotic” and said it is “both unimplementable and unmanageable,” suggesting masks and temperature checks would do.
The UK is one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, and some countries have taken steps of their own to minimize the risk of a second wave of infections from Britain.
On Wednesday, Slovakia excluded Britain from its EU travel corridor over concerns people from the UK were most likely to bring the virus.
The UK government has scrambled to find ways to keep the travel industry alive, including floating the idea of “air bridges” between the UK and select other countries.
But easyJet, British Airways, and Ryanair said Friday they have “not yet seen any evidence on how and when proposed ‘air bridges’ between the UK and other countries will be implemented.”