Some of the world’s most influential tourism source markets have agreed to align their efforts in restarting international travel.
Meeting virtually last Thursday (Oct. 30), leaders of the G7 nations — which includes Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as the European Commission and the European Union, agreed on broad measures aimed at building a long-lasting recovery for the international travel sector.
In the first meeting of its kind between G7 transport and health ministers from major global economies, the agreement is based on seven “high-level” principles:
- Future-proofing the transportation sector against future health threats
- Ensuring the fair treatment and safety of essential transport personnel
- Respecting privacy and data protection in implementing vaccination certification solutions
- Reaffirming the pre-eminence of scientific evidence in planning international travel policy
- Ensuring fairness and equity in respective national responses
- Maintaining regular international and multilateral engagement
- Delivering a safe, sustainable and resilient recovery
These principles “will drive global standards on international travel and continue the progress made to make a long-lasting recovery for the sector,” reads a U.K. government statement.
The G7 group has also agreed to focus on improving data protection in vaccine certification developments, as well as prioritizing the decarbonization of transport.
“Under the UK’s presidency of the G7, we are determined to get people travelling abroad as freely and safely as possible and the progress made today between all G7 nations is testament to this vision,” said Grant Shapps, the U.K.’s transport secretary, in a statement. “By sharing information, working together on common standards and solutions for vaccine certification, and keeping a focus on a sustainable recovery for our travel sector, we will build a resilient and long-lasting recovery now and for generations to come.”
Ministers also outlined their collective support for the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), including the upcoming High-level Conference on COVID-19 next month.
The conference will bring together over 190 states to discuss issues relating to international travel, helping to achieve a common approach for aviation recovery as we continue to collaborate with our international partners in response to the pandemic.
While concrete details of what an international reopening plan might look like has yet to be seen, G7 partners agreed that a "joined-up approach" was essential to mitigate against risks associated with the current pandemic and any future health threats.
Partners also expressed the need to understand how to safeguard international travel and provide a high level of resilience for the sector in the longer term.