IATA: Covid-19 restrictions ‘wildly inconsistent’

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for an end to ‘wildly inconsistent’ Covid-19 travel restrictions that are stalling the recovery of air transport.

IATA is urging governments to implement simplified regimes to manage the risks of Covid-19 as borders re-open.

It states current travel restrictions are a complex and confusing web of rules, with very little consistency among them. It says there is little evidence to support border restrictions and continue with the economic havoc they create.  Testing results for arriving passengers demonstrate that travellers are not adding risk to the local population.

In the last months, several key markets that had previously been closed have taken steps to open to vaccinated travellers. Among markets that were previously closed, Europe was an early mover, followed by Canada, the UK, the US and Singapore. Even Australia, which has some of the strictest restrictions, is taking steps to re-open its borders to vaccinated travellers in November.

IATA supports these moves and encourages all governments to consider the following framework for re-opening borders:

  • Vaccines should be made available to all as quickly as possible.
  • Vaccinated travellers should not face any barriers to travel.
  • Testing should enable those without access to vaccines to travel without quarantine.
  • Antigen tests are the key to cost-effective and convenient testing regimes.
  • Governments should pay for testing, so it does not become an economic barrier to travel.

IATA also recommends that Covid-19 measures must not be allowed to become permanent. Measures must remain in place only for as long as they are needed.

IATA highlights the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) as an efficient and reliable standard to record test and vaccination status.