Airports Council International (ACI) World has renewed its call for the widespread deployment of Covid-19 testing of international passengers before travel, as an alternative to restrictive national quarantine measures. With a predicted US$104.5bn reduction in revenue in 2020, and the airport industry representing 60% of aviation jobs, the economic toll of quarantine measures is high.
To better support recovery efforts, ACI has urged for 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.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for Covid-19 testing for passengers before departure as an alternative to quarantine. ACI supports this call subject, however, to the availability of effective and accurate methods of testing and on the option of running it off-airport before travel to ensure better efficiency of travel and create a smooth testing process.
“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 harmonized testing measures to foster a coordinated recovery while providing reassurance to travelers. To ensure efficiency and the smooth movement of travelers, testing cannot be done exclusively at the airport. Other options include testing conducted off-airport, pre-travel, always using a risk-based approach to take into account local conditions.”