Airports and airlines warn against inconsistent travel restrictions

3 August 2020 (Last Updated August 3rd, 2020 11:55)

Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), Airlines for Europe (A4E), and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have warned the Prime Ministers of European countries regarding the inconsistencies in Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Airports and airlines warn against inconsistent travel restrictions
The organisations state that the unilateral national measures are divergent from the expert guidance and adversely affect consumer confidence. Credit: NIAID.

Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), Airlines for Europe (A4E) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have warned the prime ministers of European countries regarding the inconsistencies in Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The letter, addressed to the prime ministers, transport, health and home affairs ministers of the European Union, Schengen Area and the UK, outlines concerns regarding the failure to adopt a science-based, coherent approach to travel restrictions.

Most of the restrictions imposed by the countries are said to be inconsistent with World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) principles.

The aviation sector has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the letter, countries have adopted different approaches despite repeated requests to implement restrictions that are science-based, harmonised, and coordinated.

The organisations state that the unilateral national measures are divergent from the expert guidance and adversely affect consumer confidence.

In addition, such restrictions do not include other options to safeguard the citizens of the countries such as track-and-trace systems.

The letter added: “The European Aviation sector is urging EU / Schengen States and the UK to reconsider restrictions to travel that have been imposed between them, including quarantines.

“We fail to see any valid science-based and proportionate justification for such restrictions from a health policy perspective.”

The organisations have urged that the efforts should be coordinated at EU level, in partnership with the UK, and should align with the evolving situation.

They have also urged countries to reinforce risk-based and proportionate measures rather than blanket bans on passengers arriving from certain countries.

It also stated that the interoperability of contact tracing apps should be maintained, along with the adoption of EASA / ECDC and ICAO Take-Off Aviation Health Safety Protocols.

In addition, the public must be accordingly informed in coordination with the travel and tourism industries.

Last month, ACI Europe and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation of the joint EASA/ECDC COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol.