IATA calls on states to follow WHO's guidance on cross-border travel

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IATA calls on states to follow WHO's guidance on cross-border travel
Source: IATA
Thu July 15, 2021

The International Air Transport Association has requested that the new guidelines of the World Health Organization be applied to restore global connectivity

The guide recommends a "risk-based approach" to implement measures related to COVID-19 and international travel.

Specifically, the WHO recommended that governments:

Do not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a mandatory condition for entry or exit
May relax measures such as testing and / or quarantine requirements for travelers who are fully vaccinated or have had a previous confirmed COVID-19 infection in the past six months and are no longer infectious.
Guarantee alternative routes for unvaccinated people through testing so that they can travel internationally. The WHO recommends rRT-PCR tests, or Rapid Antigen Detection Diagnostic Tests (Ag-RDT) followed by rRT-PCR confirmatory tests of positive specimens, for this purpose.
Implement testing and / or quarantine measures for international travelers "in a risk-based manner" with testing and quarantine policies regularly reviewed to ensure they are lifted when they are no longer needed.

“These risk-based and common-sense WHO recommendations, if followed by states, will allow international air travel to resume while minimizing the possibility of COVID-19 importation. As the WHO notes, and as the latest UK test data shows, international travelers are not a high-risk group in terms of COVID-19. Out of 1.65 million tests conducted on international passengers arriving in the UK since February, only 1.4% have tested positive for COVID-19. It is time for governments to incorporate data into the risk-based decision-making process to reopen borders, ”said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.

The WHO also asked states to communicate "in a timely and appropriate manner" any changes in international measures and requirements related to health. “Consumers face a maze of confusing, uncoordinated and rapidly changing border entry rules that discourage them from traveling, causing financial hardship for travel and tourism employees. According to our latest passenger survey, 70% of recent travelers thought the rules were challenging to understand, ”Walsh said.

Furthermore, the WHO encouraged states to consider bilateral, multilateral and regional agreements, particularly between neighboring countries, “with the aim of facilitating the recovery of key socio-economic activities”, including tourism, for which international travel plays a vital role. .

“The pandemic has put more than 46 million jobs, normally supported by aviation, at risk. By incorporating these latest WHO recommendations into their border opening strategies, states can begin to reverse the economic damage of the past 18 months and put the world on the road to recovery, "said Walsh.


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