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IATA calls on governments to ease travel restrictions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to ease travel restrictions as COVID-19 continues to evolve.

IATA called for:

  • Removing all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.
  • Enabling quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result.
  • Removing travel bans, and
  • Accelerating the easing of travel restrictions in recognition that travelers pose no greater risk for COVID-19 spread than already exists in the general population.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General, commented, “With the experience of the Omicron variant, there is mounting scientific evidence and opinion opposing the targeting of travellers with restrictions and country bans to control the spread of COVID-19. The measures have not worked.”

“Today Omicron is present in all parts of the world. That’s why travel, with very few exceptions, does not increase the risk to general populations. The billions spent testing travellers would be far more effective if allocated to vaccine distribution or strengthening health care systems.”

Last week, World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that governments should “Lift or ease international traffic bans” as they do not provide added value, and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress.

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