Italy threatens to ban Ryanair flights for being 'lax' with coronavirus safety – including masks and overcrowding

BRITS heading to Italy with budget airline Ryanair could find their
holidays scrapped after officials threatened to ban them for repeated
Covid-19 violations.

Officials at the Italian Civil Aviation Authority have sent a stinging letter to Ryanair bosses accusing them of being ''lax'' with their handling of the pandemic.

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They reported repeated flouting of masks not being worn by passengers
and crew, overcrowding at gates, check in desks and on buses taking
passengers to planes.

It warned the airline that unless it tightened up it would be forced
to suspend it from landing in the country – jeopardising thousands of
Brit holidaymakers who have booked flights to Italy.

Popular destinations include Rome, Milan, Pisa, Venice and Naples, and
yesterday passenger Ben Buckley posted on Twitter about the breaches.

He said:''Your cabin crew don't use masks properly. One used his as a
chin sling and another removed it when speaking to passengers.

''Cew don't enforce mask wearing by passengers and passengers from
different flights deplane and board with no break. We sat in dirty
seats.''

Chrissy Cuttell said:''On a recent (Ryanair flight) to the UK, why
were there NO safety measures in place. Your staff were not even
wearing their masks correctly. Disgusting how you are allowed to get
away with it.''

In its statement, the Italian CAA said: "There has been repeated
violation of anti-COVID-19 health measures drafted by the Italian
government and in force to protect passengers' health.

''If the company does not rectify the situation we will impose the
suspension of all air-transport activity in national airports.''

While airlines flying to and from Italy are allowed to fill planes to
capacity, they are supposed to enforce social distancing before and
after take-off, including during boarding, at gates, and on shuttle
buses carrying passengers to and from the terminal.

They must also ensure that staff and passengers wear face masks
throughout flights, changing them every four hours on longer journeys.

There has been no immediate response from Ryanair to the threat
but on it's website the airline described onboard health procedures.

It said:''All Ryanair aircraft are fitted with HEPA air filters (High
Efficiency Particulate Arrestors), which remove particles in the air,
down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with an
efficiency of better than 99.99% and interior surfaces are disinfected
every night with chemicals, which are effective for over 24 hours.

''From 1 June, Ryanair cabin crew will wear face masks/coverings and a
limited inflight service will be offered of pre-packaged snacks and
drinks, but no cash sales.

"Queuing for toilets will also be prohibited on board although toilet access will be made available to individual
passengers upon request.'' 

Last month, a Ryanair passenger slammed the airline after showing pictures of seats which were covered in food and grime – which were so dirty that passengers apparently refused to sit in them.

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