The CEO of Irish airline Ryanair has criticised the Government's delayed adoption of the EU Digital Green Certificate for international travel.
Micheal O'Leary questioned Transport Minister Eamon Ryan in an open letter as to why Ireland was the only EU country not to comply with the system when it came into effect yesterday.
The new EU Digital Green Certificate was rolled out across each Member State yesterday, apart from here.
The cert will allow people to travel anywhere in the EU, provided they are fully vaccinated, have fully recovered from COVID or undergo a negative COVID test.
Ireland is set to adopt the scheme from July 19th in line with the return of international travel, but doubts have been cast that the Government will be ready to roll it out in time.
In his letter, Michael O’Leary asks Eamon Ryan for an explanation over Ireland’s failure to make available the travel pass in line with the rest of Europe yesterday.
"This ongoing mismanagement of air transport by the Irish Government is doing untold damage to our economy and tourism infrastructure as we lag 'Paddy last' behind every other EU country, all of whom have opened up to these EU COVID certs and are taking advantage of the success of their vaccination programmes," he wrote.
In contrast, Ireland remains "uniquely locked down" despite a low number of people being in hospitals and ICUs with the virus, he said.
Mr O'Leary queries why the Government have not undertaken the Green Cert scheme "to permit our 1.5m fully vaccinated citizens to travel freely within the EU".
He continues: "As a result of Government ineptitude, Ryanair now has to refuse travel to passengers from all other EU States who are fully vaccinated and in possession of a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate.
"This is discrimination and unjustified without any medical or public health basis.
"We have also received reports of Irish passengers arriving into this state without a DCC (fully vaccinated) being unjustly threatened with mandatory quarantine.
"Please explain why Irish Borderforce today appear to be completely unaware of what the EU COVID Certificate looks like? What have you been doing for the last six weeks since the DCC was first announced?
He tells Minister Ryan that there is "no justification for any further delays or restrictions" on the return of travel for fully vaccinated Irish citizens or for fully vaccinated EU citizens to come here to rebuild "our crippled aviation and tourism industry"
The Ryanair boss signs off by asking the Transport Minister to confirm that he will "finally act" to switch on the EU Green Cert for these fully inoculated people.
"Since they are all fully vaccinated, they pose no threat or risk to NPHET's 'variant scariant' lockdown narrative," Mr O'Leary concludes.