The International Air Transport Association (IATA) wants governments to accelerate the relaxation of travel restrictions as COVID-19 moves from the pandemic to the endemic stage.
IATA wants countries to remove travel bans. They are also calling for eliminating all travel barriers, including quarantine and testing, for fully vaccinated travelers with a WHO-approved vaccine.
They also want governments to enable quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result and speed up the easing of travel restrictions in recognition that travelers pose no greater risk for COVID-19 spread than already exists in the general population.
“With the experience of the Omicron variant, there is mounting scientific evidence and opinion opposing the targeting of travelers with restrictions and country bans to control the spread of COVID-19. “The measures have not worked,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said in a news release. Today Omicron is present in all parts of the world.
“That’s why travel, with very few exceptions, does not increase the risk to general populations,” Walsh added. The billions spent testing travelers would be far more effective if allocated to vaccine distribution or strengthening health care systems.”