The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for the European Union to support an initiative from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to agree a common digital European Covid-19 vaccination certificate that would enable those who are vaccinated to travel freely within Europe without COVID-19 testing.
“Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ initiative should be urgently adopted by the Commission and all member states. Vaccination is a fundamental key to safely reopening borders and stimulating economic recovery. A pan-European mutually recognized vaccination certificate would be an important step towards giving governments the confidence to safely open their borders, and passengers the confidence to fly without the barrier of quarantine.”Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO
IATA have been working with a number of industry organisations and companies in its efforts to restart international travel and it is hoped that a European initiative would encourage other parts of the world to follow the example as the economic benefits begin to outweigh the danger of the spread of the virus.
IATA have stressed the need for governments to prepare for re-establishing freedom of movement through well coordinated planning combining vaccination and testing, rather than quarantine arrangements and closed borders..
“We are in very dark days of this pandemic. But the tough measures taken combined with accelerating vaccination programs must give us hope that we can safely re-establish the freedom of movement. That will save jobs, ease mental anguish, re-connect families and revive the economy. To do this safely and efficiently, planning is key. Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s proposal for vaccine certificates will be a key enabler. Progress on eliminating or reducing quarantines can be made with testing protocols. But what we need now is for governments to start working together much more effectively. Unilateral government actions were able to quickly dismantle global connectivity. Re-building will need coordination,”Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO
The EU Heads of State meet on Thursday 21st January and the proposal will be on the agenda. It is hoped they will direct the Commission to take action and develop a common certification.
IATA recently called for the re-opening of borders and the end to quarantine arrangements to help stimulate the world economy and travel and tourism sectors.
IATA have also developed the “Travel Pass” designed to act as a digital “Covid Passport” enabling vaccination and test records to be safely stored and shared. The Travel Pass is currently being piloted by Singapore Airlines. Emirates and Etihad have also recently announced plans to trial the app.
Photo credit Agus Dietrich on Unsplash
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