The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has recently released a press release calling for the instant reinstatement of international travel without the requirement of vaccinations.
WTTC, the global representative of the Travel and Tourism private sector, has allied with key industry players, Airports Council International (ACI), World Economic Forum (WEF), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to denounce the dependency of vaccinations as a prerequisite to resume international travel operations.
According to the alliance, effective testing methods paired with strenuous hygiene protocols are sufficient in safely recommencing worldwide travel.
Although WTTC acknowledges the value of the vaccines, they believe that waiting for supply to become readily available will only derail the recovery of international travel.
In this regard, the WTTC simply believes that the resumption of travel should not be predicated on the arrival of the vaccine, but rather, due diligence and enhanced practices are enough to revive travel.
WTTC President & CEO, Gloria Guevara stated:
“Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will be critical to combatting COVID-19 and restoring confidence for people to interact with one another. However, it will take considerable time to vaccinate the world and for the vaccine to have a significant effect on the global population, and the global Travel & Tourism sector simply cannot wait.”
As threats handed by the Covid-19 pandemic continue to destabilize the global travel sector, WTTC cautions the currently developing health passports to pose a further delay to the stimulation of the sector and rather advocates internationally recognized travel passes.
Recent data from WTTC shows a startling 174 million jobs in global travel and tourism are now at risk. The council calls for prompt action to save the sector and re-establish the freedom to travel to the masses.
Four Key Measures To Safely Restore International Travel
In collaboration with ACI, WEF, and ICC, WTTC has noted four key measures as a foundation to the resurgence of international travel. The alliance encourages a global consensus in adopting these measures to collectively restore the global travel economy.
1. Globally recognized testing regime on departure – Efficient and cost-effective testing of international merit implemented upon departure to restrain virus transmission
2. Common health and hygiene protocols – Advanced health and hygiene practices, essentially WTTC Safe Travels Protocols as standard safety procedure
3. Risk management regime – All governments to execute common policy of risk management in accordance with current guidelines outlined by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), and European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EASA/ECDC).
Said guidelines are contrary to currently adopted prevention protocols such as 14-day quarantines which have halted business and leisure travel.
4. Travel passes – Vaccines to compliment digital travel passes, such as CommonPass, AOK Pass and IATA Travel Pass which verify certification of test results to accelerate travel procedures and eliminate requirement of quarantines.
WTTC identified that current prevention protocols widely endorsed by international authorities, such as mandatory quarantines, have interfered with and prolonged travel operations. The wait for vaccines is yet another hindrance which the travel sector cannot afford at this sensitive time.
Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Airports Council International (ACI) World Director General stated:
“While we welcome the rapid development and deployment of vaccines, there will be a considerable period before they are widely available so, during the transition period, tests and vaccines together will play a key role in industry recovery.
Just as quarantine effectively halted the industry, a universal requirement for vaccines could do the same and a coordinated and risk-based approach to testing and vaccination going forward will provide passengers with a safe travel environment and foster confidence in air travel.”
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