Simplicity, predictability and practicality keys to restoring global mobility now

Written by Harry Johnson

Simple, predictable and practical measures needed to safely and efficiently facilitate the ramping-up of international travel as borders re-open.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on governments to adopt simple, predictable and practical measures to safely and efficiently facilitate the ramping-up of international travel as borders re-open.

Specifically, IATA urged governments to focus on three key areas:

  • Simplified health protocols
  • Digital solutions to process health credentials
  • COVID-19 measures proportionate to risk levels with a continuous review process

The industry’s vision to address the complexity is outlined in the newly released policy paper: From Restart to Recovery: A Blueprint for Simplifying Travel. 

“As governments are establishing processes to re-open borders, in line with what they agreed in the Ministerial Declaration of the ICAO High Level Conference of COVID-19, the Blueprint will help them with good practices and practical considerations. 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,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Deputy Director General.

The Blueprint aims to facilitate the efficient ramping-up of global connectivity. “We must have processes in place to safely and efficiently manage the ramping-up of international travel as borders re-open. With over 18 months of pandemic operational experience and traveler feedback we know that a laser-focus on simplicity, predictability and practicality is essential. That is not the reality today. Over 100,000 COVID-19 related measures have been implemented by governments worldwide. This complexity is a barrier to global mobility that is exacerbated by the inconsistencies these measures have created among states,” said Clifford.

Focus Areas

Simplified health protocols: The aim must be protocols that are simple, consistent, and predictable. 

Key recommendations include:

Remove all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.

Enable quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result.

These recommendations are supported by public opinion research of travelers which revealed that:

  • 80% believe that vaccinated people should be able to travel freely
  • 81% believe that testing before travel is an acceptable alternative to vaccination
  • 73% believe that quarantine is not necessary for vaccinated travelers

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