To fly from the U.K. to Ireland you need a negative PCR Covid-19 test. One woman, a U.K. health care worker, was denied boarding for her flight from Birmingham to Dublin despite having a negative PCR test.
The British government offers free Covid testing. They don’t want that system used for travel, so they advise air passengers must get private tests. The health care worker gets regular tests as part of her job, they’re PCR tests, so she brought that to the airport. She was denied boarding because it was a government-provided test.
However she thought she was in the clear – Ryanair’s website specifies that they cannot accept National Health Service “Test and Trace” tests offered free to people who identify with symptoms. Hers wasn’t a test and trace test, it was a regular test for health care workers without symptoms.
Sally Shiels referred to the Irish government guidance that does not mention the use of NHS tests, and she says she checked the Ryanair website which only warned against NHS Test and Trace testing, not other types of NHS tests.
- She flew from Birmingham to Belfast, no test required to fly from England to Northern Ireland
- Then Belfast to Dublin, which doesn’t require tests from Northern Ireland (for people who haven’t been overseas in prior 14 days) and accepts PCR tests – without excluding UK government tests.
Thirty other passengers on the same Ryanair flight were denied boarding over the type of negative Covid-19 test they presented.
The world desperately needs consistent standards for allowing travel, whether it’s a negative PCR test from any lab within 72 hours or full vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. We are not going to get consistent standards, and that’s why we won’t truly have vaccine passports.