easyJet Plc’s (LON:EZJ) boss Johan Lundgren said the government is “almost dismantling the system that it set up themselves” as people are confused on international travel rules.
The airline has posted a £645mln interim pre-tax loss that he said was due to the restrictions imposed across Europe.
Most European countries are on Westminster’s ‘amber’ list, meaning that people returning to the UK have to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, quarantine for ten days and take additional tests on days 2 and 8 of isolation, which adds up to the normal costs of a holiday.
The handful of locations on the ‘green’ list, instead, require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test when they come back to the UK.
There has been confusion on guidelines earlier this week, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating people should not travel to ‘amber’ countries for recreational purposes after environment secretary George Eustice said going to these destinations was fine as long as they quarantined on their return.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps stressed on Thursday that it should be done only in “exceptional circumstances” and people should “common sense”.
However, Lundgren said on Thursday travelling to ‘amber’ countries is “absolutely legal”.
“There was no indication they [passengers] shouldn’t travel to these countries, because that’s what the restriction was supposed to do – it was there to make sure you could do this in a safe way,” he told the BBC.
“We have a huge amount of people that are contacting us to say: ‘Look, can I go? Can’t I go?’ – So it’s been very confusing.”
Shares dipped 1% to 969.6p on Thursday at noon.