Airports Council International (ACI) World has urged governments to replace quarantine measures with a new and consistent protocol for testing.

This programme only needs to be implemented when necessary and as an alternative to broad-brush requirements for quarantine.

ACI is set to urge the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop recommendations.

The measures must be risk-based and informed by scientific and health experts. They should also only be applied to passengers between countries where there is significant risk.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “Unilateral national measures, especially a quarantine requirement, is damaging to both the industry and passenger confidence.

“Unnecessary quarantine measures are particularly harmful to passenger confidence as international air travellers have no assurance that, if they make flight arrangements, they will be able to return to their place of departure to continue their daily lives.

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“Harmonised measures and a risk-based approach that relies on scientific evidence will help to restore the traveller confidence and support the economy recovery of the aviation ecosystem.”

With the new protocol in place, international air transport can be restarted in a safe and efficient manner, and people and goods can travel freely without increasing the risk of infection.

According to ACI, risk-based and proportionate measures are required to implement mitigation measures that are currently in place while considering the need for economic recovery.

To this end, governments need to avoid blanket quarantine rules and implement effective testing protocols before and after travel to mitigate risk.

Furthermore, they should recognise properly issued health certificates, support secure solutions to share health information such as test results and implement the ICAO Take-Off Aviation Health Safety Protocols.

They should also inform the public in close cooperation with the travel and tourism industries.