The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for the introduction of systematic tests for all passengers before departure, as an alternative to quarantine measures to ensure the resumption of air traffic, the association said yesterday Tuesday in a statement published on its official website.
"This should allow governments to open borders safely without quarantine. And it will give passengers the certainty of being able to travel without having to worry about a last-minute change in government rules that could spoil their plans," said Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO of IATA.
"The key to restoring freedom of mobility across borders is the systematic COVID-19 testing of all travellers 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 them back the freedom to travel with confidence. And it will put millions of people back to work," said Alexandre de Juniac.
It will give passengers the certainty that they can travel without having to worry about a last-minute change in government rules that could spoil their plans," said de Juniac.
Towards the elimination of quarantine?
Pre-departure testing of COVID-19 is the preferred option because it will create a "clean" environment throughout the travel process. Testing on arrival weakens the confidence of passengers with the potential for quarantine at destination in the event of a positive result, IATA said in the same release.
According to the IATA director, new tests have been developed. They could be carried out in 10 to 15 minutes. With a reliability of 97% and a price ranging from 7 to 10 dollars, these tests will facilitate the control of passengers, and will allow them to travel without quarantine, says the French daily Les Echos.
However, the implementation of this measure depends on the availability of the tests. While the laboratories are struggling to meet demand, between 4 and 5 million tests per day will be required, according to IATA's director general.
In addition, international travel is down 92% from 2019 levels.