Inconsistent Covid-19 travel restrictions must end
The association has been testing its Travel Pass app for the past 11 months with positive results, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to put an end to inconsistent Covid-19 travel restrictions that are stalling the recovery of air transport.
Speaking about the importance of simplified requirements, IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “Travel restrictions bought governments time to respond in the early days of the pandemic. Nearly two years later, that rationale no longer exists. Covid-19 is present in all parts of the world. Travel restrictions are a complex and confusing web of rules with very little consistency among them. And there is little evidence to support ongoing border restrictions and the economic havoc they create.”
A survey commissioned by IATA of 4,700 respondents in 11 markets in September reported that air travellers are increasingly frustrated with the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
73% of respondents said their quality of life is suffering as a result of Covid-19 travel restrictions
Walsh added: “People are increasingly frustrated with the Covid-19 travel restrictions and have seen their quality of life suffer as a result. They don’t see the necessity of travel restrictions to control the virus. And they have missed too many family moments, personal development opportunities and business priorities. In short, they miss the freedom of flying and want it restored. The message they are sending to governments is: Covid-19 is not going to disappear, so we must establish a way to manage its risks while living and travelling normally.”
The association has led the way in the implementation of tools to facilitate travel. The IATA Travel Pass is an app that offers a secure way for travellers to check the requirements for their journey, receive test results and scan their vaccine certificates.
Currently, vaccine certificates from 52 countries (representing the source of 56% of global air travel) can be managed using the app. This will increase to 74 countries, representing 85% of global traffic, by the end of November 2021.
According to Walsh, the app is now ready to be rolled out: “The app has proven itself to be an effective tool to manage the complex mess of travel health credentials that governments require.
After months of testing, IATA Travel Pass is now entering the operational phase
And it’s a great vote of confidence that some of the world’s best-known airline brands will be making it available to their customers over the coming months.”
In the Middle East and Australia, it was recently announced that Etihad Airways, Jazeera Airways, Jetstar, Qantas, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian will implement IATA Travel Pass in a phased rollout across the airlines’ networks.
For more information, visit www.iata.org