British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair asked Britain’s High Court Friday to take action against the government’s new quarantine rule that requires passengers arriving from abroad to self-isolate for two weeks.
In a court filing, the airlines complained that the rule, which has been in effect for five days, has had a severe impact on tourism and the British economy and needs immediate judicial review.
The three carriers argue that London should instead re-introduce a March 10 policy that singled out only travelers from high-risk nations for quarantine.
“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 U.K. in line with much of Europe, which is opening its borders mid-June,” the group said in a joint statement.
The carriers said the new rule is more strict than even restrictions applied to coronavirus patients, and complained that they were never consulted by the government before it was introduced. They also said there is no scientific evidence indicating the quarantine rule is necessary.
When the rule took effect Monday, the carriers said the restrictions will likely lead to more job losses for the aviation industry. They worry it might lead international travelers and Britons leaving the country to delay or cancel plans.
World moves to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (L) passes out face masks when he arrives at Grand Central Station to attend a nearby press conference to enter phase 1 of a four-part reopening plan in New York City on June 8. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo