IATA calls for removal of entry restrictions for vaccinated travellers
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), through its Director General Willie Walsh, has said that people who have undergone the Covid-19 vaccination regime should travel internationally by air “without restriction or testing”.
Speaking at the opening of IATA’s 77th General Assembly in Boston, US, Walsh said the only restriction on international air travel for people who have not been vaccinated should be the need for a rapid antigen test to prove they are not carriers of the disease.
“With the knowledge we have today, which is much greater than when the restrictions were introduced in February 2020, and the fact that the quality of testing has improved dramatically, the risk of contracting coronavirus on board an aircraft is extremely low,” he said.
The director general of IATA, which represents some 300 airlines worldwide, or about 80% of the industry, also said the impact of disease transmission through international travel is currently minimal.
Walsh said IATA has studied the risk of someone with Covid-19 travelling abroad and “changing the dynamics of the coronavirus in that country”. “Clearly it depends on the level of infection and the rate of vaccination, but all indications are that the risk is very, very low,” he said, pointing to the situation in the UK, where between February and August this year, 6.4 million PCR tests were carried out on international travellers, of which only 57,000 were positive.
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