Covid-19 testing system, not quarantines
Covid-19 testing system, not quarantines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday called for a "systematic" test for the Covid-19 virus for all passengers at airports before departure to replace the quarantine measures that "are killing the airline industry".


Alexandre de Juniac, general manager of Iata, said pre-departure checks should enable governments to safely open borders without quarantines.

"It will provide passengers with the certainty that they can travel without having to worry about a last-minute change in government rules that could spoil their plans."

The IATA chief said the quarantine set up by various governments around the world "is wiping out the aviation industry" by thwarting airline companies' efforts to recover from the pandemic. However, testing all passengers before travel should allow governments to end this practice completely and enable a restart of the airline industry that has suffered billions of dollars in losses as well as millions of jobs.

A global agreement is needed to ensure that test results are accepted upon departure upon arrival and it will also enhance passengers' confidence that everyone on board has been tested.

The majority of respondents agreed that they are ready to take the test as part of the travel process and that the comprehensive tests will enhance passengers' confidence by knowing that everyone has been tested.

According to the latest surveys cited by Iata, the reason for the slow recovery is the quarantine measure, which more than 80 percent of potential riders say discourages them from traveling. This situation has led several airlines recently to announce further cuts in production capacity for the winter season, which reflects a slower than expected pace of recovery.