The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that it is "critical" that the Canadian government take a progressive approach in reconnecting the country to the world following Canada's decision to strengthen travel restrictions.
In a release posted Tuesday (Feb. 16), IATA acknowledged that the "immediate focus" of Canada is to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"This includes extraordinary measures aimed at stopping all but essential travel, along with strict testing and quarantine protocols, to eliminate the importation of new COIVD-19 variants," IATA said.
However, the association noted how Canada's new rules "restrict the freedom of movement" and are taking a "severe toll" on people, businesses and the economy.
IATA is therefore urging Canada to ease its approach when the country's decision makers are confident that the epidemiological situation can safely permit it.
IATA said a "collaborative dialogue between industry and government" will help this process by:
- Efficiently implementing policy measures, including global guidance of expert organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization
- Understanding and monitoring the benchmarks that the government is setting to eventually resume connectivity
- Ensuring that measures can be implemented in the international context with minimal inconvenience to travellers.
“We are eager to support the leadership of the Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport for Canada," said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice-president for airport, passenger, cargo and security. "This means implementing the measures needed to safely manage through the pandemic."
"But we must also ensure that there is a plan in place to energize the eventual recovery by restoring the freedom of movement and reconnecting the people and businesses of Canada, both internally and with the world."
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