Ryanair gives wrong info on covid travel requirements

Ryanair accused of giving wrong test information for flights to Italy

News Travel & Tourism

A Ryanair customer took to social media to complain the airline gave them incorrect information for travel rules to Italy. They claim the airline is even preventing people from boarding.

The UK’s Independent newspaper reports that a Ryanair passenger took to social media to complain the airline gave them the wrong information regarding Covid tests. “They emailed me stating that you can only enter Italy if you have a negative PCR test, which is incorrect,’ writes Reddit user.

As a result, costs increase for customers and some are denied boarding for having the ‘wrong’ covid test. In a Reddit post entitled “Urgent: Ryanair has told everyone the wrong entry requirements”, user /VeryLazyLewis wrote, “I am visiting family for Christmas. I have the pleasure of flying with Europe’s worst airline, Ryanair.

“They emailed me this morning stating that you can only enter Italy if you have [a] negative PCR test, which is incorrect. You can get a rapid test within 24 hours, too. The UK gov and Italian gov website state this as well and there are no emergency changes. We are both triple vaccinated.”

Other passengers took to Twitter to complain about the discrepancy, with @Ste2larossi6 posting a screenshot of the rules sent out to Ryanair passengers.

In the screengrab, the alleged Ryanair rules state that travel rules for Italy changed on 16 December, and the test type and window allowed for pre-travel tests is different for EU countries and the UK and Northern Ireland.

For the UK, the rules say: “Only with PCR test taken within 48h to arrival”.

Information on UK Foreign Office site correct

The Foreign Office advice for Italy currently states, “You must show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before entering Italy OR a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours before entering Italy”.

This advice pertains to both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers. However, the unvaccinated also need to self-isolate for five days on arrival before doing another test.

Italy’s Ministry of Health site

Italy’s Ministry of Health website lists the United Kingdom on “List D”. The following rules for countries on that list are: “[Passengers must] undergo a molecular swab carried out within 72 hours prior to entry into Italy and the result of which is negative, or an antigenic test carried out within 24 hours prior to entry into Italy, the result of which is negative.

“In the case of arrivals from the UK and Northern Ireland and British Isles, the molecular swab must be taken in the 48 hours prior to entering Italy.”

Our interpretation of this is that whilst the time window for PCR tests is shorter for UK and travellers, both test types are valid.  

Those who protested got to fly

Verylazylewis continued on Reddit that “lots of Italians are posting about being denied entry onto flights” on the Italian consulate website. Lewis claimed some who insisted PCRs were not necessary could board.

“One person reported that in Luton, all the passengers protested and kept shouting [that] Ryanair were wrong, and they actually allowed them on the flight,” Lewis wrote.

A Ryanair spokesperson told the Independent, “Ryanair’s teams have been working hard to keep customers up to date with the latest travel restrictions, which update regularly across the 37 countries in which Ryanair operates.

“However, it is each customer’s responsibility to check the latest travel updates with the relevant local authorities before they travel.”

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