Ryanair has criticised the government’s failure to issue EU Digital Certificates to vaccinated Irish citizens and called on transport minister Eamonn Ryan to explain why he is “failing to reopen the island to air travel.”
Ryanair says that 18 other EU countries are now issuing what it calls the Digital Green Cert and that “Ireland is ready to switch it on” but has failed to do so for Ireland’s vaccinated citizens.
In a statement released today, 23 June, the airline said that this is “just the latest example of Ireland being an outlier and lagging behind Europe’s Covid recovery.”
Ryanair pointed to stats released by Eurocontrol that show air traffic in and out of Ireland for 21 June 2021 was 75 per cent less than the equivalent day in 2019 – the worst of all the countries on the list.
The airline’s CEO Eddie Wilson said: “With less than 50 Covid patients in our hospitals, and less than 20 in our ICU’s, Ireland continues to delay the recovery of aviation and tourism due to the bogus and non-medical fears about a Delta variant in the UK which is not resistant to vaccines. It is time for Minister Ryan to wake up and roll out the EU Digital Cert at least for those Irish citizens who have been double vaccinated, and this can be switched on today! Negative PCR tests and Covid recoveries can be added later.
He continued: “It is bizarre and inexplicable that Irish vaccinated citizens are not free to travel without restrictions to/from the EU, even when Ireland has fully vaccinated all of its vulnerable groups, and our Covid case numbers continue to dwindle to nothing, and even these declining case numbers, are occurring in the under 35 year old category who are mainly asymptomatic and don’t suffer serious illness or hospitalisations.”
He then called on Eamonn Ryan to immediately open the UK Common Travel Area and “switch on Ireland’s EU Digital Green Cert, as 18 other EU countries now have, well before 1 July.”
The government has slated 19 July as the earliest day for the re-opening of non-essential travel, but in recent days has said that it will monitor the situation related to the spread of the Delta variant and that even 19 July is not set in stone.