HomeNewsIATA Urges Canada to Drop Remaining 'Out of Step' Covid Travel Restrictions

IATA Urges Canada to Drop Remaining ‘Out of Step’ Covid Travel Restrictions

Airline industry group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has requested Canada to “urgently” drop its remaining Covid travel restrictions, saying they are “out of step” with the rest of the world and are accentuating the current delays and disruption across Canadian airports.

“Canada has become a total outlier in managing Covid-19 and travel,” said IATA’s regional vice president for the Americas Peter Cerda.

Mr Cerda added: “While governments across the globe are rolling back restrictions, the Government of Canada is reinstating them. The Government should follow the lead of its peers, including, for example, Australia. While that country had some of the toughest travel restrictions during the height of the pandemic, it has now lifted these, including the vaccination requirement. Rather than following this example and enabling travel and tourism to recover, those in power in Canada believe that throwing more red tape at the pandemic is the way forward.”

IATA wants the Canadian Government to remove random testing of international arriving passengers, end the vaccination requirement for international travel, use its ArriveCAN procedure solely as an entry tool for customs and end mandatory mask wearing in airports, as it has done in other public places.

Mr Cerda added: “After more than two-years of onerous COVID-19 restrictions people want to be able to travel again, as we can clearly see from the current level of demand. Ramping up the entire value chain has come with some challenges. Maintaining outdated COVID-19 restrictions contributes to the delays passengers are experiencing at major Canadian international gateways. Governments need to ensure that travel restrictions are designed to address today’s environment, not the environment of the previous two years. Now is the time for the Government of Canada to join its counterparts around the world and remove unnecessary and outdated measures.”

IATA said the vaccination mandate for international travel to Canada is, in essence, obsolete and ending it would remove the need for the manual and time-intensive documentation check at flight origin outside Canada and during immigration upon arrival.

The random testing of international arriving passengers is, it said, singling out tourists compared to the domestic population. Positive-testing tourists must isolate for 10 days, twice as long as the average timespan recommended by local health authorities nationwide.

Last week, IATA warned that a premature return to pre-Covid airport slot use rules for airlines operating in the EU, this winter, risks continuing travel disruption for passengers.

The European Commission has announced it intends to return to the longstanding 80-20 slot use rule, which requires airlines to operate at least 80% of every planned slot sequence.

“The chaos we have seen at certain airports this summer has occurred with a slot use threshold of 64%. We are worried that airports will not be ready in time to service an 80% threshold by the end of October. It is essential the Member States and Parliament adjust the Commission’s proposal to a realistic level and permit flexibility to the slot use rules,” said IATA director general Willie Walsh.

IATA director general, Willie Walsh
Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
I have worked in journalism for more than 25 years. I am joining ITTN from The Irish Examiner, having worked there for the past 16 years as a senior business reporter. I have also contributed to, and written for, the likes of Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune, amongst others titles.

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