(10 Jun 2021)
IATA has welcomed the relaxation of COVID19 border
measures for vaccinated passengers, and the broader use of
affordable antigen testing adopted by Spain and France this week.
Spain opened its borders on 7 June to most
vaccinated travelers from around the world and allowed EU
travelers to enter the country with a negative antigen test.
Furthermore, passengers coming from low-risk countries (including
the UK) can enter without any restrictions.
On 9 June, France opened to vaccinated
travelers from all but those countries assessed as “high risk”.
Vaccinated travelers from “medium-risk” countries will need to
provide proof of a negative COVID19 antigen or PCR test, and
unvaccinated people must still self-isolate for seven days.
“It’s encouraging to see more European countries
taking steps to reopen borders. They recognize the opportunity
created by vaccination and are making travel more affordable with
the use of antigen testing,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director
General. “But this approach is not universal across the continent.
Many European states have yet to significantly relax borders at
all. This fragmentation should be replaced with a unified approach
that is consistent with the recommendations of the EU to which
they belong. People, businesses and economies would all benefit
from greater alignment across Europe in relaxing measures and
restoring the freedom to travel.”
A consistent approach across Europe is required if
the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to be implemented effectively
by 1 July.
Around the world, governments need to allow digital
certificates to be integrated in passenger applications such as
IATA Travel Pass, in order to relieve pressure on airports and at
borders from more complex passenger processing as the number of
travelers ramps up.
“Connectivity needs countries at both ends of the
journey to be open,” said Walsh. “Many of the world’s largest air
travel markets, such Australia, China, the UK, Japan, and Canada
remain essentially closed with no clear plans to guide a
reopening. Data should help these and other countries to introduce
targeted policies that keep populations safe while moving towards
a normality in world with COVID19 for some time to come. The G7
has an opportunity later this month to set a risk-managed
framework for re-establishing the freedom to travel in a way that
is both affordable and practical. It’s critical that they take up
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