The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments worldwide to avoid mandatory quarantine and prepare alternative solutions for arriving tourists and travelers when they reopen their borders.
Alexandre de Juniac, Director-General, and CEO of IATA said that a framework is being prepared for governments to use as an alternative to quarantine for arriving tourists.
He explained that enforcing a quarantine on arrivals would isolate nations from potentials tourists and revenue streams, mostly keeping the industry in lockdown.
Me. de Juniac, whose association represents 290 airlines consisting of 82 percent of global traffic, continued:
“We are proposing a framework with layers of protection to keep sick people from traveling and mitigate the risk of transmission should a traveler discover they were infected after arrival.”
A recent poll discovered that more than eight in ten people would not consider traveling to another country if they were required to go into a quarantine facility on arrival.
Mr. de Juniac referenced this poll in addition to a trend showing that countries that have imposed a quarantine for arrivals saw figures drop by more than 90 percent. This is a similar number to nations that banned foreign visitors altogether.
The IATA CEO continued by mentioning that the association supports reducing the risk of covid-19 spreading by discouraging travelers with symptoms associated with the infection.
He also believes that regulations such as screening via temperature checks and providing covid-19 tests for tourists from high-risk countries could eliminate the need for quarantine measures. He said:
“Safely restarting the economy is a priority. That includes travel and tourism. Quarantine measures may play a role in keeping people safe, but they will also keep many unemployed.”
Tests taken at the destination airport before travel could eliminate airport congestion at the arrival airport explained Mr. de Juniac.
He said tests would need to be quick and widely available with data independently validated so that governments would mutually recognize the results.
The Thai government has floated a similar idea, with a “travel bubbles” scheme allowing certain groups to enter the country without needing to undergo quarantine on arrival.
However, some other groups of travelers will be required to stay in alternative state quarantine facilities in Thailand at a high cost.
Source: Bangkok Post