Michael O'Leary expects Irish people will be able to travel abroad by summer

ireland
Michael O'leary Expects Irish People Will Be Able To Travel Abroad By Summer
Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Vivienne Clarke

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said that the airline will not be asking passengers for proof that they have been vaccinated.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland he said: “We'll be asking the Government and Nphet to get the finger out and accelerate the vaccine programme in this country and to vaccinate the high risk groups which is the only way we're going to come out of Covid-19. Not more failed lockdowns.”

Mr O’Leary said he expected a dramatic recovery in the aviation industry this summer on the back of the successful vaccination rollout programme in the UK.

“Fifty per cent of their population will be vaccinated by the end of March, Europe and Ireland needs to get its act together and catch up - if 50 per cent of our population is vaccinated by the end of June which is what we now expect, we see a strong recovery of travel, in summer holidays through the school holidays into August and September.”

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The vast majority of people who were sick and dying from Covid were in the over-65 age group, he said. There were not lots of young people getting sick.

“Part of this is the Nphet daily press conference trying to terrify the population. The reality is that the UK will have vaccinated 50 per cent of their population, everybody over 50 by the end of March. Ireland needs to catch up, hopefully by the end of June.

“Nphet and the chief medical officer, if he was doing his job properly, should be holding a daily press conference announcing the number of people who've been vaccinated not issuing care stories about the numbers of people in hospitals. He is the chief medical officer and he should be dealing with the vaccine.

“Vaccination is the way out of this Covid crisis, not these failed lockdowns.”

Vaccine programme

Mr O’Leary said that if everyone over the age of 50 was vaccinated by the end of June then there would be no requirement for restrictions.

“The vast majority of young people don't get sick with Covid. They are asymptomatic, there will be a dramatic reduction in hospitalisations, a dramatic reduction in deaths thankfully and there will be a dramatic reduction in the Covid hype on RTÉ once every body over 50 is vaccinated. That should take place before the end of June.

“If Europe and Ireland gets its act together, catches up with the UK vaccination programme, we should be out of these lockdowns by the end of June and RTÉ will have to move on and talk about something else.”

Mr O’Leary denied that the tone of the airline’s ‘Jab and Go’ advert was wrong: “No it was absolutely correct, it was factually correct saying that vaccines are coming, book now for Easter and summer - we fully accept that Easter will be a write-off.

“Now because of the vaccine programme summer 2021 we will see millions of people travelling to the beaches of Europe in July, August and September when everybody over 50 will have been vaccinated and the risk of sickness, hospitalisation and death from Covid will have significantly receded,” Mr O'Leary claimed.

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