As part of their 76th Annual General Meeting, members of IATA unanimously adopted a resolution urging governments to reopen the borders.
They propose that air travellers be routinely screened for COVID to lift current travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.
“We have to manage the way we live with the virus. But that doesn't mean destroying aviation," said Alexandre de Juniac, Managing Director and CEO.
"A much better option than quarantine..."
IATA notes that several studies point in the same direction, namely that screening is an effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19 through air transport.
In addition, travellers are in favour of screening, stresses IATA. A survey by the Association found that 83% of people would rather refrain from travel rather than have a quarantine imposed, and 88% of travellers are willing to be tested if it allows them to travel.
“Public opinion is in favour of testing. People see it as a much better option than the travel-killing quarantine. And they trust that if you are tested and the result is negative, you do not need quarantine," said de Juniac.
While reaffirming its commitment to implement all necessary biosecurity protocols, IATA therefore urges governments to implement the guidelines developed by ICAO, which make air travel safe, rather than keeping travel almost impossible with border closures, travel restrictions and quarantine measures.
IATA is also calling for aviation personnel and international travellers to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination once safe and effective treatments are available and healthcare workers and vulnerable groups have been identified protected.
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