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Published on Thursday, January 28, 2021

IATA seeks WHO support for quarantine-free travel for vaccinated passengers

The airline industry is calling on the World Health Organization to give official approval that vaccinated passengers are able to fly without quarantining.

The International Air Transport Association said WHO acceptance is vital to get the world moving again and so IATA can roll out its digital-travel pass to streamline cross-border travel.

"We can say whatever we want, what we do need is for the WHO to come out and say the same thing, so that it becomes a universal acceptance that once you're vaccinated you should not have to go through any of these hoops," said Nick Careen, IATA's SVP for Passenger Matters.

The development of the IATA app needs to be sped up as paper-based verification is more open to fraud.

"The WHO needs a fire lit underneath it to get this done sooner rather than later. Even then, there's no guarantee that every government will adopt the standard right away."

The WHO hasn't recommended that governments demand vaccination proof as it is still unknown how effective the vaccines is in reducing transmissions.

Careen said Greece has announced vaccinated travelers should not face travel restrictions but very few other countries have committed to that yet.

IATA says it is discussing the issue with the EU and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says travel to the US may be possible without restrictions for vaccinated travelers.


Written by Ray Montgomery, US Editor

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