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ACI calls for widespread deployment of COVID-19 testing

Posted: 28 September 2020 | | No comments yet

ACI World has reinforced the industry’s need for the widespread deployment of COVID-19 testing of international passengers before travel.

COVIdD-19 testing in lab

To better support recovery efforts, ACI World has called for urgent government action to introduce widespread and coordinated testing of international passengers – based on internationally accepted protocols and on a risk-based and resource-effective approach – to enable quarantine requirements to be removed.

“Quarantine and unilateral decisions from governments are destroying efforts to restore air connectivity and, without the lifting of travel restrictions and quarantine, the aviation industry cannot rebuild and will not be able to drive the global economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic,” ACI World Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“Testing will allow people to travel in a safe and efficient manner without increasing the risk of infection or the fear of unnecessary quarantine. Government action is urgently required to establish globally harmonised testing measures to foster a coordinated recovery while providing reassurance to travellers.

“To ensure efficiency and the smooth movement of travellers, testing cannot be done exclusively at the airport. Other options include testing conducted off-airport and pre-travel, always using a risk-based approach to take into account local conditions.”

The aviation industry came together to promote the widespread implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Take-off Guidance, but inconsistent and ever-changing border restrictions – along with confusion about quarantine requirements at a national level – have caused frustration for both businesses and travellers and dampened confidence in air travel.

“Working together across the industry and hand in hand with ICAO and international health organisations is a must,” de Oliveira said. “This is the only way to develop a global approach to testing that will help establish consistent and workable procedures.”

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