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Published on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Travel and tourism won't recover from shutdown, warns IATA


Airline body IATA has slammed the UK Government's decision to introduce Covid screening while the mandatory quarantine for most arrivals remains in place.

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac accused the UK, Canada, Germany, Japan and other countries of a knee-jerk response to the new strains of coronavirus, which prompted their decision to tighten travel restrictions.

He said they have chosen policies that 'will shut down travel'.

"This approach tells us that these governments are not interested in managing a balanced approach to the risks of Covid-19," he said in a media briefing. "They appear to be aiming for a zero-Covid world. This is an impossible task that comes with severe consequences."

He said that 'with this approach we know for sure that the travel and tourism economy will not recover'.

De Juniac called for a 'more balanced public policy approach' based on testing as a replacement for quarantines.

"Science tells us that travellers will not be a significant factor in community transmission if testing is used effectively," he added. "But most governments have tunnel-vision on quarantine and are not at all focused on finding ways to safely re-open borders—or alleviate the self-imposed economic and mental health hardships of the lockdowns."

England will introduce mandatory Covid tests from Friday 15 January for all arrivals. Those returning from countries not on its travel corridor list will also have to quarantine for up to 10 days, even if they have a negative test result before travelling to England.

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