Travel industry calls on Europe to end quarantines

Par thierno - 23 September, 2020 - 10:20

Twenty European organisations call on the President of the European Commission to end the quarantine obligation. They want the system to be replaced by a European testing protocol for travellers.

Twenty European organisations, active in the travel sector, airports and airlines, call on the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to end the quarantine obligation. They want the system to be replaced by a European testing protocol for travellers.

The 20 organisations, which represent more than 5,000 companies, have set out their message in an open letter. They denounce "a chaotic situation" and the "urgent need" for European coordination on travel advice.

This Tuesday, many of the world's airlines in turn requested that all international passengers be tested before departure, also to replace the quarantines that have "aggravated the air transport crisis", they wrote. "We do not see any alternative solution that would be less difficult or more effective", says the CEO of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac.

Implementing a European testing protocol would, according to the travel industry, remove quarantine measures for a large number of people. Such a protocol "is crucial to allow the free movement of people, to end current discrimination and to re-establish the activity of the single market," the letter reads.

Effectiveness of quarantine questioned

The signatories add that quarantine is not an effective means of combating the epidemic. "The ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) formally advises states not to impose such restrictions" because they are not risk-based and are therefore not effective, they write.

"The travel industry and the tourism sector are the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis," the associations say. "The current situation threatens the survival of many of our companies" and workers. And these represent 27 million Europeans, they say.

Among the signatories is Frank Moreels, in his capacity as president of the ETF (European Transport Workers' Federation). The umbrella organisations IATA (aeronautics), HOTREC (hotels and restaurants), ECA (pilots) and ACI Europe (airports) have also signed it.

CAMILLE BERKENBAUM