British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet said on Friday that they have filed a formal legal challenge to the UK governments 14-day quarantine policy.
In a statement, the three airlines said the policy, which came into force this week, will have “a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs”, the BBC reported.
They have applied for a judicial review at the High Court, and asked for it to be heard as soon as possible.
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The challenge claims that the quarantine rules for travellers are more stringent than those applied to people who actually have COVID-19; there was no consultation and no scientific evidence provided to support the policy; weekly commuters from France or Germany can be exempted; and that the government is preventing people from travelling to and from countries with lower infection rates than the UK.
In the statement, the airlines said they had not seen any evidence on how and when so-called “air bridges” – allowing quarantine-free travel between the UK and other countries with low infection rates – could be implemented.
They have called on the government instead to re-adopt a previous policy, where quarantine was limited to travellers from high-risk countries.
Under the new rules, those arriving in the UK should drive their own car to their destination, where possible, and once at their destination they must not use public transport or taxis, the BBC reported.
They must not go to work, school, or public areas, or have visitors – except for essential support.
Those arriving in England and Northern Ireland could face a fine of 1,000 pounds if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days, while they face a 480 pounds fine in Scotland.
The enforcement rules in Wales are not clear.
Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man does not have to complete a form or enter quarantine. (IANS)