IATA Director General disappointed at global response to China’s easing of travel restrictions
Many countries are now imposing Covid-19-related restrictions and testing requirements
While Chinese authorities have recently relaxed travel rules, the US, Italy and other nations have reintroduced the proof of a negative Covid-19 test as an entry requirement for Chinese citizens and travellers from China.
In response to these travel requirements being brought back in, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Willie Walsh has called the ‘knee-jerk’ decisions of the countries ‘extremely disappointing’.
He said: “Several countries are introducing Covid-19 testing and other measures for travellers from China, even though the virus is already circulating widely within their borders. It is extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years.
“Research undertaken around the arrival of the Omicron variant concluded that putting barriers in the way of travel made no difference to the peak spread of infections. At most, restrictions delayed that peak by a few days. If a new variant emerges in any part of the world, the same situation would be expected.
“That’s why governments should listen to the advice of experts, including the World Health Organization, that advise against travel restrictions. We have the tools to manage Covid-19 without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs. Governments must base their decisions on ‘science facts’ rather than ‘science politics’.”