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Italy threatens to ban Ryanair for 'breaking coronavirus rules'

Airlines operating in Italy are not required to ensure social distancing of one metre if other safety steps such as mandatory wearing of face masks are taken, but ENAC claimed Ryanair is failing to meet these requirements
Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Italy's civil aviation regulator ENAC is threatening to ban Ryanair from the country's airports over alleged non-compliance with rules introduced to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

ENAC accused the Dublin-based airline of "repeated violation of anti-Covid-19 health measures drafted by the Italian government and in force to protect passengers' health".

Airlines operating in Italy are not required to ensure social distancing of one metre if other safety steps such as mandatory wearing of face masks are taken, but ENAC claimed Ryanair is failing to meet these requirements.

The regulator warned that if "violations of the rules" continue it could prevent Ryanair from flying to or from Italy.

The airline serves 29 airports in Italy.

ENAC has raised its concerns with the Irish Aviation Authority.

Ryanair said in a statement that the claims made by ENAC are "factually incorrect" and insisted it is "committed to the highest level of safety for our passengers and crew at all times".

It said its procedures are "in line with the safety recommendations and measures set out by the Italian government".

These include implementing boarding procedures to "avoid unnecessary gathering of passengers" and making face masks mandatory for passengers and crew.

Ryanair operated 40% of its capacity in July and plans to raise this to around 60% in August.

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