Ryanair won’t require Covid vaccination for passengers flying within EU

Ryanair has said “no vaccine cert will be required for EU short-haul flights.”

The Irish Times reports that the airline will not be following the lead of Qantas in requiring passengers to prove they have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Citing EU guarantees of freedom of movement, Ryanair said that no vaccine certificate will be required within the union and that quarantine restrictions could be lifted by springtime next year.

“Under the EU system of free movement, we believe quarantine restrictions will be removed in spring 2021, once effective vaccines become available to protect high-risk groups from Covid-19,” a spokeswoman told the Irish Times.

EasyJet also confirmed to the paper that it does not have plans to require proof of vaccination, with no response forthcoming from Aer Lingus.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was the first airline chief to announce his company would be seeking proof of Covid-19 vaccinations from passengers, except on internal flights, and that he expects other airlines will follow suit.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft,” Joyce said.

Various commentators had proposed making a Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for travel, with Trinity’s Professor Luke O’Neill among those proposing that people who refuse the injection could be “excluded” by airlines and ferry services.

Addressing what he called “vaccine hesitancy” among people who fear side-effects from the injection, O’Neill had told RTÉ Ireland would need to vaccinate 70% of the population “to make sure we can beat this virus.”

“57% said they would take it…we need to be clever with this one I think. It is new and there will be anxieties, you know…

“What they’ve done in the past: you don’t make it against the law, you exclude people. So one prediction here is that you cannot travel unless you have the vaccine, and that would incentivise people. That’s a better way to do it,” O’Neill claimed.

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