Governments around the world need to drastically reduce their restrictions on air travel in response to the coronavirus pandemic and standardize their policies, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.
“IATA called for an end to wildly inconsistent COVID-19 travel restrictions that are stalling the recovery of air transport,” the organization said in a press release. “It urged governments to implement simplified regimes to manage the risks of COVID-19 as borders re-open to international travel.
Vaccines should be made available to all as quickly as possible and vaccinated travelers should not face any barriers to travel, the rlease said.
In addition, testing should enable those without access to vaccines to travel without quarantine and convenient testing regimes and governments should pay for testing, the release said.
“Travel restrictions are a complex and confusing web of rules with very little consistency among them. And there is little evidence to support ongoing border restrictions and the economic havoc they create,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said in the release.
Of the 50 nations that IATA surveyed, 38 have some form of COVID-19 restriction on who can enter. Only seven had no entry restrictions or quarantine requirements upon arrival. A further five have no additional restriction on who can enter but maintain some quarantine measures after arrival, the release added.