The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for international travel to be simplified. The influential group has called upon governments around the world to make several changes, such as putting into place “simple, predictable and practical” measures, that would ensure travel could go ahead in the easiest and safest possible ways in the future. The call comes just as international travel numbers around the world are rising once more, amidst countries reopening their borders and easing their travel restrictions.
The group set out their new vision and recommendations for international travel in a policy paper that was released just this week, which featured three key measures that they are encouraging governments around the world to adopt. Here’s everything you need to know about this story, including a look at what exactly the IATA have been calling for with their policy paper.
IATA’s Suggestions – Information For Travelers
The IATA is a trade association of airlines from around the world. Founded in 1945, it represents the interests of almost 300 airlines from more than 100 different countries, all united under its mission to “represent, lead and serve the airline industry”. The group is essential in helping to form policies and standards across the industry, and it possesses a great amount of influence in the world of aviation. When the IATA speaks, the travel world listens – and this week, they have been vocal about their views for the future of travel.
The IATA released its blueprint for the recovery of the travel industry in the form of a policy paper. Titled “From Restart to Recovery: A Blueprint for Simplifying Travel”, it called upon governments around the world to put the following measures into their policies:
- Simplified health protocols
- Digital solutions to process health credentials
- Covid-19 measures proportionate to risk levels with a continuous review process
Under “Simplified Health Protocols”, the IATA recommends that governments remove all current travel barriers – such as putting arrivals under quarantine or mandatory testing requirements – for those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved by the WHO. The IATA also recommends that quarantine is removed for unvaccinated travelers who have taken a rapid antigen test prior to their departure.
For “Digital Solutions To Process Health Credentials”, the IATA recommends the use of a digital health record, such as a vaccine passport, to record the health status of a traveler. Such entities include the European Digital Covid Certificate. It also recommends that governments adopt websites or apps that travelers can use to present their travel health credentials or access clear entry requirements to make travel easier.
The third key point, “Covid-19 measures proportionate to risk levels with a continuous review process”, addresses the need for countries to provide transparency towards their restriction decision making process. It also recommends that governments review existing processes and plan for the future of aviation after the pandemic.
Speaking about their blueprint, the IATA’s Deputy Director General Conrad Clifford said:
“Over the next months we need to move from individual border openings to the restoration of a global air transport network that can reconnect communities and facilitate economic recovery. We must have processes in place to safely and efficiently manage the ramping-up of international travel as borders reopen. With over 18 months of pandemic operational experience and traveller feedback, we know that a laser-focus on simplicity, predictability and practicality is essential. This is not the reality today.”
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