Court to rule next month on Ryanair challenge to 'travel restrictions'

Court to rule next month on Ryanair challenge to 'travel restrictions'

Ryanair claims the 'international travel restrictions'  are unlawful and amount to a disproportionate interference of it and its passenger’s rights. Picture: Denis Scannell

The High Court will rule early next month on Ryanair's challenge against travel measures introduced by the Government in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its action Ryanair claims the measures, which the airline says amount to 'international travel restrictions', are unlawful and amount to a disproportionate interference of it and its passenger’s rights.

In proceedings against An Taoiseach Ireland and the Attorney General, the airline seeks various orders and declarations, including one setting aside the measures announced in late July.

The State respondents oppose the action and say that the measures announced are not mandatory but are advisory in nature.

The measures, it is claimed, do not impose a legal restriction on travel in and out of the county, have been reviewed regularly, and are not binding in nature.

The respondents also claim that Ryanair has no legal basis to bring its challenge against the measures, that the courts cannot interfere with this advice, and that Ryanair's proceedings are moot or pointless.

Aer Lingus, which is a notice party to the proceedings, supports Ryanair's action.

Following the conclusion of legal submissions from the parties today, Mr Justice Garrett Simons reserved his decision. The judge said he will give his ruling on the matter in early October.

Ryanair does not accept the State’s argument that the measures are advisory, are without legal consequences and do not restrict people’s freedoms.

In judicial review proceedings it has challenged the measures announced last July, including that persons not travel outside of Ireland save for essential purposes.

It is also challenging the requirement that persons returning to the State from countries not on the designated list, known as the green list, to restrict their movements and self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

Ryanair further claims the restrictions are also unconstitutional and breach various Health Acts, the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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