IATA welcomes surging number of nations opening borders for vaccinated travelers

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The international trade organization of airlines across the globe, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appreciated the increasing number of countries making data and evidence-driven decisions to open their borders to vaccinated travelers.

IATA stated that it will support unrestricted access to travel for vaccinated travelers and if vaccination is not possible, quarantine-free travel should be provided through COVID-19 testing strategies based on widely available, free-of-charge tests.

According to the latest data collected by IATA, including its Timatic service, more than 20 countries have completely or partially lifted restrictions for vaccinated travelers. Germany is the latest among other nations to make quarantine alleviations for vaccinated people. 

In the European nation, vaccinated travelers are no longer subject to quarantine measures, except from certain high-risk countries. Germany has also removed quarantine requirements for travelers with a negative COVID-19 test result.

“The implementation of this policy aligns Germany with recommendations from both the European Commission and the European Parliament, based on similar scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC),” IATA said.

Based on the limited evidence available, the ECDC said that the likelihood of an infected vaccinated person transmitting the disease is currently assessed to be very low.

Similar conclusions are being reached in the US, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) recently noting that with a 90 percent effective vaccine, pre-travel testing, post-travel testing, and 7-day self-quarantine provide minimal additional benefit.

 Willie Walsh
Willie Walsh
Director General – IATA

“A safe opening of borders to international travel is the goal. There is increasing scientific evidence that vaccination is not only protecting people but also dramatically reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is bringing us closer to a world where vaccination and testing enable the freedom to travel without quarantine.”

According to the US CDC, relief from COVID-19 restrictions is a powerful motivator for vaccination, particularly in communities where vaccine hesitancy is prevalent. This is an additional benefit of restriction-free travel for those vaccinated. 

IATA polling indicates that 81 percent of international travelers are willing to get vaccinated in order to be able to travel. Moreover, 74 percent of people in the same poll agreed that those vaccinated should be able to travel by air without restrictions.

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