GENEVA : The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to make data-driven decisions to manage the risks of Covid-19 when reopening borders to international travel.
Strategies without quarantine measures can enable international travel to restart with a low risk of introduction of Covid-19 to the travel destination.
“Data can and should drive policies on restarting global travel that manage Covid-19 risks to protect populations, revive livelihoods and boost economies,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
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“We call on the G7 governments to agree on the use of data to safely plan and coordinate the return of the freedom to travel which is so important to people, livelihoods and businesses,” he said.
Evidence continues to show that vaccination protects travellers from serious illness and death, and carries a low risk of introducing the virus into destination countries.
Walsh said a challenge is the potential of barriers to travel for unvaccinated people which will create an unacceptable exclusion.
Data regarding international travellers arriving in the United Kingdom (with no reference to vaccination status) shows that the vast majority of travellers pose no risk for the introduction of Covid-19 cases after arrival.
“Many governments continue to require universal quarantine — either hotel-managed or self-managed. This impedes the freedom of movement, discourages international travel and destroys employment in the travel and tourism sector,” said Walsh.
“We now have more than a year of global data that can help governments make more targeted decisions on international travel,” he said.
“This can keep the risk of importing Covid cases low — including variants of concern — while restarting international travel with minimal infringement on the ability to live normal work and social lives. Importantly, lives that include travel,” said Walsh. (ANI)
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