Allow freedom to travel for tested, vaccinated persons: IATA

New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jun 02, 2021, 11:53 PM IST

Representative image Photograph:(AFP)

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According to IATA, strategies without quarantine measures can enable international travel to restart with a low risk of the introduction of COVID-19 to the travel destination

Global airlines association IATA has urged governments to make data-driven decisions to give freedom to travel for those tested and vaccinated.

It has called upon governments to manage the risks of COVID-19 when reopening borders to international travel.

According to IATA, strategies with quarantine measures can enable international travel to restart with low risk of the introduction of COVID-19 to the travel destination.

"Data can and should drive policies on restarting global travel that manages COVID-19 risks to protect populations, revive livelihoods and boost economies," its Director-General Willie Walsh said.

"We call on the G7 governments meeting later this month to agree on the use of data to safely plan and coordinate the return of the freedom to travel which is so important to people, livelihoods and businesses."

As per IATA, the challenge is the potential of barriers to travel for unvaccinated people which would create an unacceptable exclusion.

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"Data from the UK NHS regarding international travellers arriving in the UK (with no reference to vaccination status) shows that the vast majority of travellers pose no risk for the introduction of COVID-19 cases after arrival."

Furthermore, IATA teamed up with Airbus and Boeing to demonstrate potential methodologies to manage the risks of COVID-19 to keep populations safe while restarting global connectivity.

Both Airbus and Boeing have developed data-driven risk-management models to understand the impact of various options.

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In the Airbus model, more than 50 variables were considered focusing on risks across the whole journey.

"The Airbus model, designed to support government stakeholders to reopen air travel, demonstrates that the risk of virus transmission and translocation can be significantly reduced by adopting data-driven screening and protection measures."

Besides, Boeing modelled the efficacy of testing strategies.

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"Boeing modelling and analysis shows screening protocols offer an alternative to mandatory quarantines for many travel scenarios."

"The model evaluates the effectiveness of passenger screenings and quarantines in countries around the world. It accounts for various factors including COVID-19 prevalence rates between origin and destination countries, the efficacy of PCR and rapid antigen tests, and the disease timeline (how the disease progresses) for passengers travelling with COVID-19," the IATA said.