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Published on Thursday, July 15, 2021

IATA urges governments to follow WHO guidance on international travel






The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged states to follow new guidance on travel from the World Health Organization (WHO).


The guidance recommends a 'risk-based approach' to implementing measures related to Covid-19 and international travel.


It will be presented to the WHO Covid-19 International Health Regulations Emergency Committee today, 15 July.


Specifically, WHO recommended that government do not require proof of Covid-19 vaccination as a mandatory condition for entry or exit and they should remove testing and/or quarantine requirements for travelers who are fully vaccinated or have contracted Covid-19 within the past six months


There should remain pathways for unvaccinated travelers to cross borders through testing.


The WHO recommends rRT-PCR tests or antigen detection rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) for this purpose.


Where quarantine measures are imposed for international travelers, it should be 'in a risk-based manner' with policies on testing and quarantine regularly reviewed.


"These common sense, risk-based recommendations from WHO, if followed by states, will allow for  international air travel to resume while minimizing the chance of importing Covid-19," said  Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.


"As WHO notes—and as the latest UK testing data proves—international travelers are not a high-risk group in terms of Covid-19. "


WHO called on governments to communicate 'in a timely and adequate manner' any changes to international health-related requirements.


"Consumers face a maze of confusing, uncoordinated and fast-changing border entry rules that discourage them from traveling," Walsh said.

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