Ireland’s High Court on Friday ruled that the government’s advice against non-essential travel to most countries due to the risk of COVID-19 infection was legal, dismissing a case brought by low-cost airline Ryanair .
The airline argued that what it claimed were international travel restrictions were unlawful, amounted to a disproportionate interference in individual’s rights and were detrimental to its business.
The measures, announced on 21 July, include that people should not travel outside the island of Ireland, except for essential purposes, and that everyone holiday at home in 2020.
Ryanair claimed the measures were mandatory in nature and had the same effect as regulations that it said should have, but were not, voted on or approved by the Houses of the Oireachtas.
As a result, the airline said the restrictions were unconstitutional and in breach of the 1970 and 2020 Health Acts, the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The State said the measures were advisory and not mandatory in nature, and there was no basis for a legal challenge.
It said the advisory notice in relation to non-essential travel was necessary, proportionate and transparent, and designed to deal with a global health emergency.