The International Air Transport Association urges countries to expedite the easing of travel restrictions

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IATA also wants governments to allow non-quarantine travel for unvaccinated travelers who have tested negative via pre-departure antigen testing.

I do not know what Announcing global passenger traffic results for 2021The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to expedite the easing of travel restrictions in their countries. Among them, removing all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those who have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also wants governments to allow non-quarantine travel for unvaccinated travelers who have tested negative by antigen testing prior to departure; to lift the travel ban; And accelerate the easing of restrictions, while recognizing that travelers pose no greater risk of spreading Covid-19 than there is already in the population.

“Billions spent testing travelers would be much more effective if they were allocated to vaccine distribution or health systems strengthening,” said Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

With the trial of the Ômicron variant, there is increasing scientific evidence and opinions against restricting travelers and banning countries to control the spread of Covid-19. The measures did not work. Today Ômicron is present all over the world. This is why travel, with a few exceptions, does not increase risks to the general population. “Billions spent on testing travelers would be much more effective if they were allocated to distributing vaccines or strengthening health systems,” said Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association.

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The association reported that a study recently published by Oxera and Edge Health showed the very limited impact of travel restrictions on controlling the spread of Omicron. The study found that if the UK’s additional measures towards the micron had been in place since early November (before the variant was identified), the wave peak would have been delayed by only five days with 3% fewer cases.

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Moreover, the absence of any testing measures for travelers would have seen the Omicron wave peak seven days earlier, with an overall increase of 8% in cases. The study also notes that now that the alternative is widely available in the UK, if all travel test requirements are removed, there will be no impact on the number of cases or hospitalizations.

While the study is specific to the UK, it is clear that travel restrictions anywhere in the world had little impact on the spread of Covid-19, including the micron variant. The UK, France and Switzerland realized this and were among the first to start lifting travel procedures. More governments need to follow suit. Walsh said accelerating the lifting of travel restrictions would be an important step in living with the virus.

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