Michael O’Leary, the CEO of RyanAir not known for biting his tongue, has spoken out against mandatory vaccinations but has made clear his personal beliefs on getting vaccinated. In recent comments, O’Leary said that anyone who turns down a potentially life-saving Covid-19 vaccine is an “idiot” and suggested that people who turn down the vaccine without good reason should suffer the consequences.
While he has said he’s opposed to programs in Austria and Germany that make vaccination mandatory, in an interview with The Telegraph he also said that airlines should only let vaccinated travellers onto flights – a bold statement from the head of Ryanair, the largest budget airline in Europe. He supported governments making rules barring unvaccinated people from activities that could easily spread Covid-19 or that use medical resources that they chose not to be protected against.
“If you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t be allowed in the hospital, you shouldn’t be allowed to fly, you shouldn’t be allowed on the London Underground, and you shouldn’t be allowed in the local supermarket or your pharmacy either. We recognise the rights of everybody to decide not to get vaccinated if you so want. If you personally object to vaccination, because it’s some huge government/big pharma conspiracy; apart from the fact that you would be plainly an idiot, we respect your right to be an idiot.”
The Ryanair CEO’s remarks come as new Covid-19 fears grip Europe due to the faster spreading Omicron variant sweeping the UK and Europe. O’Leary expects a 10% drop in passengers this month due to the new variant and the tightening restrictions that follow it, and predicts that 2022 will start out with a whimper due to Omicron.
He believes that if new safety restrictions are enacted or if authorities are plagued with uncertainty over the effects of new strains of Covid-19 and how to cope with them, tourism confidence will continue to decline and people won’t risk travelling.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post