The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments to accelerate relaxation of travel restrictions as COVID-19 continues to evolve from the pandemic to endemic stage.
IATA called for:
- Removing all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.
- Enabling quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result.
- Removing travel bans, and
- Accelerating 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. 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. The billions spent testing travelers would be far more effective if allocated to vaccine distribution or strengthening health care systems,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.