ACCEPTING vaccinated travellers should be best practice to reopen borders, said the International Air Transport Association.
In cases where vaccination was not possible access to quarantine-free travel should be provided through Covid-19 testing strategies based on widely available, free-of-charge tests, it added.
The latest data collected by IATA, including its Timatic service, shows that more than 20 countries have wholly or partially lifted restrictions for vaccinated travellers. The association applauded these countries making data and evidence-driven decisions to open their borders to vaccinated travellers.
IATA cited Germany as among the latest countries where arriving vaccinated travellers are no longer subject to quarantine measures (except from certain high-risk countries). It has also removed quarantine requirements for travellers with a negative Covid-19 test result (except from certain high-risk countries).
“There is increasing scientific evidence that vaccination is not only protecting people but also dramatically reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “This is bringing us closer to a world where vaccination and testing enables the freedom to travel without quarantine. Germany and at least 20 other countries have already taken an important step forward in re-opening their borders to vaccinated travellers. These are the best practice examples for others to quickly follow.”
IATA, however, noted that the
decisions of increasing numbers of countries to accept vaccinated travellers
without quarantine measures adds pressure for a digital solution to manage
vaccine certificates and Covid test results.
“Paper-based processes could
lead to extremely long processing times at check-in and border control. They
also open the door to fraud. Digital vaccine/test certificates, coupled with
passenger apps such as the IATA Travel Pass, will be needed to manage travel
health credentials efficiently and securely in the restart.”
Recent IATA polling showed strong support for a digital solution, as 89% supported globally standardised Covid-19 test or vaccination certifications and 84% wanted an app to manage their travel health credentials
“A gap is opening up between countries responding to scientific evidence, and those exhibiting a lack of preparation or excessive caution in reopening borders. Countries that seize the opportunity offered by the increasing numbers of vaccinated travellers can protect their populations and reap an economic reward,” said Walsh.
• Featured image credit: kiattisakch/Getty Images
WiT May 23, 2021 at 08:39AM