The British Isles have a new plan to stem the spread of COVID-19: Require all international travelers except those from Ireland to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in the United Kingdom.
The CEO of Ryanair thinks that’s a terrible plan.
“It’s idiotic and it’s unimplementable,” Michael O’Leary said Monday on BBC’s “Today” radio program.
“This government is telling you that you can’t fly unless you isolate for 14 days, yet you can go on the London Underground and you don’t have to isolate for 14 days,” O’Leary said, according to the Daily Telegraph. “They’re making this stuff up as they go along, and none of it has any basis in science.”
O’Leary said it would be more effective to require “everybody” to wear masks to stem the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week outlined the plan, saying incoming air travelers will be asked to give officials the address of where they will be isolating for their first 14 days. Violating the rule will bring hefty fines.
O’Leary also ripped the plan to block middle seats on airplanes, calling the plan “kind of an idiotic idea that doesn’t achieve anything anyway,” he told the Financial Times.
The plan has been enacted in some U.S. states, including Hawaii.
Last week, a tourist from New York was arrested in Hawaii after he allegedly violated state regulations that require travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Tarique Peters, 23, of the Bronx, arrived in Honolulu last Monday. He then posted photographs on Instagram photos showing himself sunbathing at the beach and carrying a surfboard, state officials said.
“He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation. Authorities became aware of his social media posts from citizens who saw posts of him — on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing, and walking around Waikiki at night,” said a news release from the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center. “This morning agents were able to confirm with hotel personnel that had seen Peters leave his room and the premises on numerous occasions this week,” the statement said.
“Agents from the state attorney general’s office arrested him Friday morning. Hotel staff told the agents they saw Peters leave his room and the hotel numerous times,” The Associated Press reported.
“Travelers in quarantine aren’t allowed to leave hotel rooms or residences for any reason except medical emergencies. Hotel guests don’t receive housekeeping services and must arrange for food to be delivered to them,” the AP said. Peters was booked, and his bail was set at $4,000.
Peters was charged with “unsworn falsification to authority.”
Hawaii now requires tourists to list their contact and lodging information, and all visitors must sign an agreement that they will spend the next 14 days in self-quarantine. “By signing the legal document, they acknowledge they understand violating the order is a criminal offense and they are subject to a $5,000 fine and/or a year imprisonment,” according to the state’s department of transportation. The state’s mandatory quarantine runs through the end of June, Gov. David Ige said last week.
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