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IATA Lists Three Pandemic Lessons for Governments to Restore Public Confidence

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to apply lessons learned from dismantling global connectivity in response to the coronavirus to ensure that future global health threats are effectively managed without closing borders.

According to IATA, the COVID-19 measures that remain in place by some governments have led to a breakdown in global air connectivity and the challenge of restarting global connectivity as some governments continue to favor local solutions over global standards.

Thus, it has been suggested that governments start applying the lessons of the pandemic to restore public confidence, reports.

“It is essential to restore public confidence in the government’s handling of health crises and border restrictions. Much of the damage has been caused not by fear of the virus but by fear of sudden and arbitrary border restrictions imposed by the authorities. Understanding the lessons,” said IATA Deputy Director General Conrad Clifford. The mission learned from the pandemic will be critical to managing future health crises in a way that ensures that borders do not have to be closed again.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) explains that three key lessons have emerged from governments.

1. Evidence confirms that border measures are not an effective global strategy for epidemic control. The World Health Organization has long considered that closing borders is not a solution to the health crisis, and the evidence supports this view.

Research by OXERA/Edge Health shows that even if a new variant of the coronavirus is detected and travel restrictions are imposed immediately, this would delay the peak of infection by a maximum of four days.

2. The second lesson, according to the International Air Transport Association, is that governments must balance health measures with social and economic impacts. Although the evidence for limitations has yet to be substantiated, the effects of reduced air conductivity are clear. Therefore, it has been suggested that politicians balance the social and economic benefits of air connectivity against the need for travel restrictions.

Public understanding of the economic importance of air connectivity is high – 92 percent of travelers agree that air connectivity is critical to the economy.

We urge governments to heed the advice of the World Health Organization on the need to keep borders open. We call for independent research on the effectiveness of policies that balance health measures with the social and economic benefits of air connectivity, with a view to agreeing on a set of global recommendations to deal with future health crises.”

3. Finally, the third lesson is that trusting travelers requires common sense and clear communication. Public trust is greatly affected by the enactment of arbitrary rules as well as poor and often contradictory information.

Thus, to give the public greater confidence in the predictability of travel, governments have been advised to adopt guidelines for how to remove public health measures, once introduced, and to simplify travel bureaucracy and paperwork with a common framework and mutual recognition.

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