The airline has begun selling seats for intra-European Union routes starting July 1, with prices start at $22 one way

By Hannah Chubb
May 15, 2020 01:48 PM
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Those planning on flying on Europe’s biggest budget airline will soon have to ask permission to use the bathroom during their flight. 

Ryanair announced the new measure on Tuesday, listing it as one way they plan to keep crew and passengers safe once they return to the skies after having grounded much of their fleet during the coronavirus pandemic. The Ireland-based airline hopes to return to 40 percent of normal flight schedules on July 1, so long as government restrictions on intra-European Union flights are lifted by that date. 

“It is important for our customers and our people that we return to some normal schedules from 1 July onwards,” said Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson in a press release. “Governments around Europe have implemented a 4-month lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. After 4 months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work, and restart Europe’s tourism industry, which provides so many millions of jobs.”

He added, “Ryanair will work closely with public health authorities to ensure that these flights comply, where possible, with effective measures to limit the spread of Covid-19."

These measures include temperature checks, required face coverings, pre-packaged snacks and drinks and cashless transactions. Passengers will also be asked to check fewer bags, check in online, download boarding passes to their phones, use hand sanitizer and stay socially distant whenever possible. 

They will also need to ask to use the restroom.

The airline suggests that requiring passengers to ask before heading to the onboard bathrooms will help with maintaining a safe social distance between passengers during flights. “Queuing for toilets will also be prohibited on board, although toilet access will be made available to individual passengers upon request,” the press release reads. 

In other words, bathroom lines will be eliminated by flight attendants letting passengers know when a bathroom is free for them to use. 

Credit: PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty

Ryanair has been operating a skeleton daily schedule since mid-March, when European flight restrictions went into place, running just 30 flights daily between Ireland, the U.K. and Europe. Starting in July, they will restart flights from most of their 80 bases across Europe, and tickets are on sale now. Prices start at €19.99 (about $22) for one-way flights, according to the airline. 

Many European nations have begun phased reopenings, allowing citizens to return to something close to normal life. Several plan on reopening to tourists this summer to try to recover some part of their tourist season — and tourism dollars. 

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Greece, for example, was the first European country to announce that they would be reopening to tourists this summer. The country intends to begin allowing tourists on July 1, though it won't be a typical season. While visitors will be able to sightsee and soak up the Grecian sun, they likely won’t be able to partake in the nightlife activities that make up much of the country’s tourism revenue.

If everything goes as planned, Greece is imagining smaller tourism activities, particularly focusing on luxury customers who would stay in boutique hotels and partake in intimate excursions like agrotourism or yachting trips.

Mykonos, Greece

Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced Tuesday that the country would be lifting its coronavirus-based travel restrictions in a phased plan beginning May 15. 

Currently, no one outside of the Schengen Area — a group of 26 European countries that allow free movement between their borders — may travel to Iceland. And those who travel to Iceland from within that area are required to self-quarantine for a two week period.

Reykjavik, Iceland
| Credit: Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty

The new plan will allow visitors from Greenland and the Faroe Islands to visit without going into quarantine beginning Friday, May 15, according to Iceland-based magazine The Reykjavík Grapevine.

On May 25, the country will allow those from the Schengen Area to visit freely and on June 15, it will open up to tourists from the rest of the world, including the United States.

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