Europe maintains travel restrictions and IATA protests: “political failure”

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The European Parliament, a body of the European Union (EU), approved a new recommendation on travel restrictions between member states on Tuesday morning 13. As a result, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) spoke on behalf of the air transport sector in Europe, classing the measure as a failure and seriously warning of the possible consequences.

The compromise signed by governments provides some guidelines to empower Member States to take a coordinated approach to restrict free movement of people in Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the measure goes against the expectations of the aviation industry: promoting the resumption of travel through effective coordination and proportionate, predictable and non-discriminatory measures.

The European aviation agencies ACI EUROPE, Airlines for Europe (A4E) and IATA have worked hard to establish a test framework against COVID-19 before boarding passengers and have replaced the quarantines for travel to high-risk areas.

For the agencies, mass tests would guarantee freedom of movement in Europe. “The current lack of coordination between the member states of the European Council has led to an incipient recovery in travel and tourism and put millions of jobs in this sector at risk,” IATA stressed in a press release.

The items approved by the European Parliament and questioned by IATA are:

It does not suggest replacing quarantines with testing, which effectively means borders remain closed. It leaves the member states the choice of refusing entry to citizens from other countries, nor does it coordinate the rules in force national and international travel, conflicts with the principle of a resolution passed on May 13 that stipulates that travel restrictions between areas with equivalent epidemiological situations must be eliminated; Ignoring manifestations from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) that travel restrictions – and especially quarantines – are of “questionable effectiveness” when local transmission occurs – which is currently the case in most parts of Europe – fails Window of confidence for travelers, a Unlike the five d, Member States only committed themselves 24 hours before they came into force to publish information about the new measures that the Commission had proposed.

For IATA, these shortcomings are a political failure. “Parliament’s inability to go beyond superficial coordination and create a truly harmonized and functioning structure is now beyond doubt,” the association said in a note.

The expectations for an effective solution now lie with the European Commission, which has commissioned the EASA (Agency for Aviation Security of the European Union) and the ECDC to develop an EU test protocol for travel.

ACI EUROPE, IATA and A4E support the Test Protocol initiative, which provides the opportunity to address the risk of importing cases from high risk areas into less threatened areas much more effectively than quarantined and to end the disastrous patchwork of currently valid answers.

Millions of workers in the transport and tourism sector need the European Union to not only support the economic recovery from COVID-19, but also to defend the right of European citizens to move freely, a fundamental principle of the EU.

IATA information

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