IATA proposes systematic COVID-19 tests instead of quarantine

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Dubai airport
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All passengers must undergo a systematic COVID-19 testing process before departure on international flights, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

IATA will initiate the plan first in international passengers before moving to domestic air travel and will involve 100 percent testing of travelers at the airport before boarding. IATA expects that this move will enable governments to remove travel restrictions and quarantine.

The association is hopeful that they can execute this program this month itself and can convince their partners as well as the government to accept this plan instead of the current restrictions and quarantine system.

The industry group also states that this decision wasn’t taken in any hurry and they are well aware of the logistical challenges that will accompany this decision. To fulfill this plan manufacturers have to develop a test that is fast, accurate, scalable, affordable and easy to operate.

Another challenge is finding out if manufacturers are willing to provide the right test and if they will be able to increase the production rate as per the needs.

Alexandre de Juniac
Alexandre de Juniac

“We expect a solution or several solutions to come in the market in the coming weeks And considering the potential scale of the testing required non-medical personnel will need to be able to operate it effectively. And it will need governments to agree on common standards, so that test administered in the departure country are accepted on arrival.” 

The IATA head also added that if they implement the test process then it is a medical regulation under the international regulation issued by WHO and the government should pay for it in normal cases.

If this program works as planned it will give air travelers the confidence to travel without the worrying about the constantly changing quarantine rules of each country’s government.