Ryanair Apologises for Forcing Autistic Boy, Aged 12, to Have a Covid Test, Despite Him Being Exempt

Ryanair has been forced to apologise for making an autistic child have a Covid test, despite him being exempt. The event was captured in a harrowing video that has been shared online.

MailOnline has the story.

The airline said it “regrets” the “stress” caused to Callum Hollingsworth, 12, when he tried to board a plane from Valencia in Spain to Britain.

Footage shows the “petrified” child… in tears as staff debate which nostril to prod the swab up.

An employee, wearing a face covering, asks him “do you prefer this one” as she points to his left side. He replies: “No, not when it goes all the way up.”

Callum, from Harlow, Essex, then bursts into tears and shouts “no” as he hides his head in his hands.

A man recording the video says: “A child with ADHD and autism refused a Ryanair flight even with a GP letter stating exemption. Not good enough for Ryanair.”

The youngster’s mother Katy later told the BBC: “They said if you don’t have a Covid test you can’t go home, so we had no choice.”

Callum first took a Covid test in January but it was a “nightmare” so he was granted a medical exemption letter by his doctor.

He took another one before he flew out to Spain, but Ms Hollingsworth said it took a two-month build up for him to do it.

She said she had wanted to take his son to his “happy place” in Spain after he struggled during lockdown.

But she said he was horrified when they were told he would have to have another test to get back to England – even though she showed the GP’s letter.

Worth reading in full.

Major Airlines Tell Passengers to Continue Wearing Face Masks after July 19th

A number of major airlines, including Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways, will continue to force passengers to wear face masks on their planes after “Freedom Day”. They will join businesses in other sectors which have decided to refuse custom from people who don’t follow Government “advice” after July 19th. ITV News has the story.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement in the fourth and final stage to ease England’s lockdown…

Despite the Government’s decision, Ryanair has said it will continue to make face masks mandatory on flights.

The airline said in a statement: “In order to protect the health of our customers and crew, the use of face masks will still be mandatory across all Ryanair flights, regardless of the departing/destination country.”

Asked about its plans from July 19th, easyJet also said it currently has no plans to drop its requirement for passengers to wear face masks.

It said: “At present, there are no changes to easyJet’s onboard mask policy and we will continue to keep this under review.

“We continue to be guided by our inhouse medical adviser and a number of key industry governing bodies that airlines follow including the World Health Organisation, International Civil Aviation Organisation, E.U. Aviation Safety Agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and public health authorities across Europe, and at present their guidance around the wearing of masks onboard remains unchanged.”

Meanwhile, train industry body the Rail Delivery Group said “wearing a mask helps protect others”, but said that the relaxation of the rules around their use indoors would apply to trains.

It has however have pledged to “support” passengers who continue wearing face coverings if they become voluntary.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: “If people don’t object to this now, their grandchildren will be wearing masks in the 2050s, although nobody will remember why,” says Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens.

Travel Firm TUI Joins Airlines Suing the Government Over “Traffic Light” Travel System

Pressure is mounting on the Government to ease restrictions on overseas travel, with the travel firm TUI joining the list of airlines raising legal concerns about “inexplicable” and “shambolic” decision-making. Sky News has the story.

The travel giant said it was “inexplicable” that ministers decided to put Portugal on its “Amber List” last month – and not move the Greek and Balearic Islands, which have low Covid rates, on to the “Green List”.

Speaking at the Travel Matters conference on Tuesday, travel association ABTA also said it was considering joining TUI, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair, British Airways’s parent group IAG, and the Manchester Airport Group in taking legal action against the Government.

Last week Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’ Leary described the Government’s international travel policy as a “shambles” and announced legal action along with a number of partners.

Andrew Flintham, TUI Managing Director, accused the Government of not listening to the industry’s needs after Aviation Minister Robert Courts failed to turn up to the conference due to a “diary clash”.

“It is incredibly disappointing that the aviation minister didn’t come to speak with us all today,” he said.

“There is no doubt the Government needs to hear what we have to say as an industry and this once again feels like a sign they’re not.”

Worth reading in full.