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Aviation Groups Call On European Governments to Lift All Remaining COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Airports Council International (ACI), along with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has called on governments across the European Union and the Schengen area to lift all remaining restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus and its new strains.

The ACI and IATA have urged governments to eliminate testing requirements, commit to providing proof of vaccination against the virus, or complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), reports.

In addition, authorities in the EU and Schengen zones were also urged to lift the wearing of masks for travel within or between countries.

According to figures provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the epidemiological situation in many EU countries has begun to improve.

The ECDC map showed that five European countries in particular; Spain, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Malta have recorded fewer cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

Up to this point, many European countries have begun to change their approach to the virus, considering it more like an endemic disease, thus easing entry rules and restrictions imposed due to the Corona virus, especially the Omicron variant.

Several European countries have canceled their local COVID-19 restrictions, including the requirement to wear face masks in public or the need to present health credentials in order to enter social events.

“March 11th marks exactly two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. At that time, we saw mounting evidence that border restrictions were ineffective. The latest research from OXERA and Edge Health confirms that by the time In which a worrisome variable is identified and restrictions implemented, cross-border transfer will have already taken place,” IATA Regional Vice President for Europe, Raphael Schwartzman, noted in this regard.

Schwartzman said that the immunity of the population in Europe is strong, and the Corona virus is mainly an endemic disease

He stressed that it was now time to focus more on removing the remaining restrictions within the European Union.

The travel and tourism sector in Europe has also been hit hard by the coronavirus situation, prompting the authorities to tighten entry rules and impose bans and other restrictions in order to prevent an increase in the number of infections.

About $9.2 trillion has been generated for the global economy from the travel and tourism sector.

However, the President and CEO of the Travel and Tourism Council, Julia Simpson, stressed that the global travel and tourism sector has suffered huge losses in the past two years.

Therefore, the recommendations of the ACI and IATA will help the travel and tourism sector recover from the damage caused by the virus.

In this regard, Schwartzman noted, “This will provide people with freedom to travel and support jobs belonging to the European air transport and travel sectors.”

Authorities in European countries are constantly trying to help the travel and tourism sector from the damage caused by the pandemic.

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