The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that vaccinated travellers should be granted unrestricted access and applauds the growing number of countries who are removing quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors.
According to the latest data collected by IATA, more than 20 countries “have wholly or partially lifted restrictions for vaccinated travellers.”
These include Germany, which is one of the latest countries to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors – except for those from some high-risk countries. Germany has also removed quarantine requirements for travelers with a negative COVID-19 test result (except from certain high-risk countries).
According to IATA, Germany’s decision follows a review of scientific data collected by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which concluded that vaccinated travelers are no longer significant in the spread of the disease and do not pose a major risk to the German population. Specifically, it stated that vaccination reduces risk of COVID-19 transmission to levels below the risk from a false negative rapid antigen test.
The implementation of this policy aligns Germany with recommendations from both the European Commission and the European Parliament, based on similar scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC). In its interim guidance on the benefits of full vaccination, the ECDC said that “based on the limited evidence available, the likelihood of an infected vaccinated person transmitting the disease is currently assessed to be very low to low.”
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Similar conclusions are being reached on the other side of the Atlantic. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) has noted that “with a 90% effective vaccine, pre-travel testing, post-travel testing, and 7-day self-quarantine provide minimal additional benefit.”
“A safe opening of borders to international travel is the goal. And scientific evidence and data such as that presented by RKI, ECDC and USC CDC should be the basis for the decision-making needed to achieve that,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
“There is increasing scientific evidence that vaccination is not only protecting people but also dramatically reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is bringing us closer to a world where vaccination and testing enables the freedom to travel without quarantine. Germany and at least 20 other countries have already taken an important step forward in re-opening their borders to vaccinated travellers. These are the best practice examples for others to quickly follow.”