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ACI EUROPE & IATA Call on EU Member States to Lift Travel Restrictions for Those Vaccinated & Recovered

ACI EUROPE and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have encouraged European governments to remove all travel rules for those fully vaccinated and who have recovered from COVID-19.

“This new system, established by the EU Council recommendation adopted on January 25, is based on the health status of travelers, not the epidemiological situation of their country or region of origin. Independent research conducted in Finland and Italy provides insight into the development of a Europe-wide policy for deregulation,” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ACI EUROPE said in a joint press release.

The request presents as an argument an analysis by Oxera and Edge Health, which found that pre-departure testing in Finland and Italy was ineffective in avoiding the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Council of the European Union, based on a January 25 recommendation to member states, called for the abolition of all restrictions on travelers with an EU digital certificate confirming that its holder has been vaccinated with at least two COVID-19 vaccines in the past. 270 days, have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days, or have negative results for a PCR test taken in the past 72 hours or the last 24 hours if it was a rapid antigen test, reports.

“This means that the traveler’s COVID-19 vaccination, testing or recovery status, as evidenced by a valid EU digital COVID certificate, should be the main determinant. A person-based approach will greatly simplify applicable rules and provide greater clarity and predictability for travelers,” the board noted in a press release announcing the recommendation.

Based on this recommendation, ACI EUROPE and IATA urge EU countries that continue to deviate from the common EU framework to harmonize COVID-19 entry measures with it as soon as possible.

ACI EUROPE Director General Oliver Jankovi? supported the EU Council’s new initiative for a “person-based approach”, agreeing that both vaccinated and recovered travelers should not be subject to any restrictions.

“Now we have additional evidence – travel restrictions are having a huge impact – but it’s not on public health, it’s on economic stability and livelihoods. In short: they do more harm than good,” he insisted.

Due to the low prevalence of the Omicron variant, a large proportion of Member States have recently relaxed travel restrictions by removing testing obligations and shortening quarantine periods, which were previously imposed amid the prevalence of the Omicron variant.

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