Vaccinated passengers should be exempt from travel restrictions, says IATA

The organisation stressed that re-opening borders to those with the vaccine will aid the sector’s recovery

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has commended the countries who have made the decision to reopen borders to those who have had the Covid-19 vaccine.

According to the organisation, more than 20 countries have wholly or partially lifted the restrictions due to this factor.

In cases where vaccination is not possible, IATA has stated that quarantine-free travel should be made possible through the means of free testing strategies.

Photo IATA

Germany is one of the latest locations to alleviate restrictions. Passengers no longer have to isolate, with the exception of travel from high-risk countries.

Research conducted by the Robert Koch Institute, specialising in disease control and prevention, concluded that vaccinated passengers do not pose a threat of spreading the disease around the region.

Recommendations issued by the European Commission and Parliament align with these findings, as the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) found that the transmission rate of an immunised traveller is very low.

“A safe opening of borders to international travel is the goal,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “And scientific evidence and data such as that presented by RKI, ECDC and USC CDC should be the basis for the decision-making needed to achieve that. There is increasing scientific evidence that vaccination is not only protecting people but also dramatically reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission. This is bringing us closer to a world where vaccination and testing enables the freedom to travel without quarantine.”

IATA’s recent poll revealed that 81% of international travellers are willing to be immunised in order to fly again. In addition, 74% of respondents also believe that those with the jab should be able to travel restriction-free.

“Countries that seize the opportunity offered by the increasing numbers of vaccinated travellers can protect their populations and reap an economic reward,” Walsh added.

Due to the rise in demand, the industry is under pressure to produce a digital platform which stores health credentials, that could be used universally to accommodate travel.

IATA is currently trialling its ‘Travel Pass’ which aims to securely store customer’s health credentials when flying internationally. Last month, the organisation secured a contract with bio-analytics firm, Eurofins which incorporates its Covid-19 testing network into the transport association’s software.