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Covid-19: Alternatives to quarantine necessary for airlines recovery

TheMole
Written by TheMole

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 2020: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to find alternatives to Covid-19 quarantine for arriving flights.

IATA director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the move was necessary as quarantine measures would hamper the airline industry’s recovery.

He said in a statement today that IATA’s recent survey found that 86 per cent of travellers were very concerned about being quarantined and 69 per cent would not consider travelling if they had to be quarantined for a 14-day period.

He said to protect airlines’ ability to be the catalyst for economic recovery, governments must not make the prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures.

“We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges.

“It must give passengers confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle. And it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus,” he said.

According to de Juniac, IATA was proposing that governments implement temporary non-quarantine measures such as immunity passports or having Covid-19 testing kits at airports along with a robust system of health declaration and vigorous contact tracing for asymptomatic travellers.

de Juniac said recovery of the airline industry should begin with domestic travel, as 58 per cent of air travellers polled in the IATA’s survey said they were likely to restrict their initial travel to domestic destinations.

He said the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on long-haul travel will be much more severe and of a longer duration than the domestic markets.

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