Ryanair urges Minister for Transport to confirm under-18s face no travel curbs

Airline wants unvaccinated children to face no restrictions if holidaying with parents

A mock-up of a digital Covid-travel pass. The Government   will  begin issuing digital Covid certificates on July 19th, facilitating free movement in Europe. Photograph: iStock

A mock-up of a digital Covid-travel pass. The Government will begin issuing digital Covid certificates on July 19th, facilitating free movement in Europe. Photograph: iStock

 

Ryanair has called on Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to confirm that unvaccinated people under the age of 18 can travel freely with their parents from July 19th.

The Government has pledged to reopen international travel from July 19th, weeks after most European Union states, when it will begin issuing digital Covid certificates.

The certificates will allow Irish people who are vaccinated, immune from Covid-19 or have negative PCR tests to travel freely through the EU. Children aged seven to 18, who have not been vaccinated, must have negative PCR tests.

The Irish Times reported this week that the Departments of Health and the Taoiseach had issued contradictory statements on how travel rules would treat children.

Ryanair called on Friday for Mr Ryan to confirm that unvaccinated under-18s will be able to travel without quarantines or other restrictions alongside their vaccinated parents from July 19th.

Airlines also fear the Government will continue to insist on quarantine for unvaccinated children arriving from the UK and the United States with their parents.

‘Dither and mismanage’

The UK government this week decided to allow unvaccinated children to travel without quarantines with their parents.

Ryanair argued that the State should heed data showing vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and fatalities, while they have broken the link between Covid cases and hospitalisation.

The airline said that while the EU and UK continued to ease travel curbs, Mr Ryan and the National Public Health Emergency Team continued to “dither and mismanage” the Republic’s reopening.

“With less than 60 Covid cases in hospital and less than 17 in intensive care units, there is no justification for keeping Irish families locked up,” said Ryanair.

It added that Mr Ryan should give Irish families much-needed certainty and a late summer holiday.