Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS on final at Naples International Airport (NAP). Photo: Marco Macca - @aviator_ita

MIAMI – A ruling passed down from the Irish High Court has rejected a challenge from Ryanair (FR) on the government’s recent travel restrictions regarding COVID-19.

Ryanair claimed the restrictions were unconstitutional and interfere with the airline’s rights, as well as the rights of their passengers. Aer Lingus( EI) had also offered support to Ryanair’s argument. 

Photo: Luca Flores.
Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX 8 200. Photo: Joe G Walker

2Government Measures

In July, The Irish Government issued the following recommendations: 

  • Persons should not travel outside of Ireland except for essential purposes.
  • All Irish citizens are advised to action at home rather than abroad for the remainder of the year.  
  • Persons traveling to Ireland from countries not on a designated “green” list should self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival

At present, the green list includes Cyprus, Finland, Latvia, and Liechtenstein, with the next review scheduled to take place on October 8t.

Initially, the government argued the measures were a necessary and proportionate response to a global health crisis. FR argues the measures were the opposite and claimed they violated the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

1Advice, Not Law

In the ruling, the High Court stated that the travel recommendations were only advice and not actual law. In addition, the court found that the government’s websites and publications of these restrictions accurately depicted their intended level of legality.

Ryanair’s primary concern, the court found, was that the government had overstepped its executive and legislative power by issuing the restrictions. With the court’s findings that the restrictions were not mandated by law, the carrier’s argument was dismissed. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently lists Ireland as a Level 3, or “High Risk” Nation for COVID-19 infections.

Featured image: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS at Naples International Airport (NAP). Photo: ©Marco Macca – @aviator_ita