The International Air Transport Association, or IATA, is reporting that international travel in 2020 is down a whopping 92% from last year and that massive decrease is crippling economies and livelihoods on every corner of the planet.
As countries start to reopen across the globe, many have imposed unmanageable quarantines that make travel impractical and dissuade most travelers. Some nations even change the lists of who needs to quarantine upon arrival so frequently, it makes confidently booking any type of travel an anxious task.
This is why IATA is calling for a harmonized pre-flight testing requirement across all worldwide airports in order to dissolve the current quarantine requirements and jump-start the shattered tourism industry.
They are proposing “the development and deployment of rapid, accurate, affordable, easy-to-operate, scalable and systematic COVID-19 testing for all passengers before departure as an alternative to quarantine measures in order to re-establish global air connectivity.”
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO stated:
“The key to restoring the freedom of mobility across borders is systematic COVID-19 testing of all travelers before departure. This will give governments the confidence to open their borders without complicated risk models that see constant changes in the rules imposed on travel. Testing all passengers will give people back their freedom to travel with confidence. And that will put millions of people back to work,”
Covid testing is getting faster, cheaper, and more accurate by the day, which is why IATA is pushing its proposal with urgency. Forbes recently published a study citing that $1 Trillion dollars, along with 100 million tourism-based jobs globally are set to be lost from the impact of the pandemic.
Testing passengers before international flights, along with other safety protocols like wearing masks and enhanced sanitary procedures could see the safe return of international tourism.
Not only would the removal of quarantines make it easier to safely enter nations that desperately need the tourism dollars, but it would also remove barriers for nationals leaving home that would otherwise have to quarantine upon return.