Airlines launch legal action against UK quarantine

(Photo: British Airways)

Three major airlines have initiated a formal legal challenge against the British Government’s 14-day quarantine rule that was introduced on June 8.

A joint statement from the three carriers said:

“British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have launched their legal action against the UK government’s flawed quarantine which will have a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs. The airlines have asked for their judicial review to be heard as soon as possible.

“The airlines have not yet seen any evidence on how and when proposed “air bridges” between the UK and other countries will be implemented. Instead, they want the government to re-adopt its previous quarantine policy introduced on March 10, where quarantine is limited to passengers from “high risk” countries. This would be the most practical and effective solution and enables civil servants to focus on other, more significant, issues arising from the pandemic while bringing the UK in line with much of Europe which is opening its borders mid-June.

“The airlines’ legal challenge against the current quarantine period is based on, among others,

  • the fact this quarantine, by criminal law,​ is more stringent than the guidelines applied to people who actually have COVID-19,
  • ​there was no consultation and no scientific evidence provided for such a severe policy
  • that, for example, if you are a French or German worker commuting weekly to the UK you will be exempted,
  • the UK Government is banning people travelling to and from countries with lower infection rates than the UK.”

The UK’s quarantine rule require most arriving travellers to self-isolate for 14 days, but there are many categories of exemptions, primarily relating to the type of work people are engaged in. However, anyone who is known to have the COVID-19 virus is required to self-isolate for seven days.