January 4 2023  |  Aviation Trends

IATA releases statement following reintroduction of COVID travel measures

By PAX Magazine Staff

Willie Walsh, Director General at International Air Transport Association

Willie Walsh, IATA Director General, made a statement today about the imposition of travel restrictions for travelers from China. “We have the tools to manage COVID-19 without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs,” he said. “It is extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years.”

Several countries are introducing COVID-19 testing and other measures for travelers from China “even though,” Walsh said in the January 4 statement, “the virus is already circulating widely within their borders.” Walsh noted that “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.”

He urged governments to “listen to the advice of experts, including the WHO, that advise against travel restrictions.”

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