Ryanair has branded the proposed 14-day quarantine to be introduced by UK authorities next week as “useless”.
For a quarantine to be effective, inbound passengers arriving at ports and airports need to be detained at their point of arrival, the low-cost carrier said.
The UK government, however, proposes to collect mobile phone numbers from inbound visitors but then allow them to travel onward.
The measures are due to come into force from Monday.
Hospitality businesses have called for a rethink, warning the situation could economically ruinous.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “This 14-day UK quarantine is ineffective, completely useless, and will have no effect on British passengers who will largely ignore it.
“At a time when the medical science across Europe, in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany, have safely removed all inbound visitor restrictions, the imposition of this completely defective quarantine in the UK is utterly useless and a total waste of time.”
The spokesperson continued: “For the UK to be imposing a 14-day quarantine on inbound visitors when it already has one of the worst Covid-19 infection and death rates in Europe, is closing the door long after the horse has bolted.
“Most visitors to the UK from Europe are arriving from countries with a lower R rate than the UK, which renders this 14-day quarantine not just ineffective and useless, but far too little far too late.”