The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the easing of coronavirus border measures for vaccinated passengers as well as the use of affordable antigen tests approved by Spain and France this week.
From June 7, Spain opened its borders to most vaccinated travelers from all over the world, including those from countries outside the European Union and the Schengen area.
However, to allow travelers to enter Spain, they must provide proof that they have undergone the vaccination process with one of the vaccines approved by either the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO), TheSchengen.com reports.
On the other hand, travelers from EU member states will only be allowed to enter the country with a negative test result. While passengers coming from low-risk countries, including the UK, can enter without being subject to any restrictions.
In addition, from June 9, France has also opened its borders to fortified travelers from all countries, except for those entering from a high-risk area. Vaccinated residents of EU member states can enter France without restrictions. Arrivals from a medium-risk area need to submit a negative COVID-19 test result, and unvaccinated people must remain self-isolating for one week.
It is encouraging to see more European countries taking steps to reopen borders. They are aware of the opportunity presented by vaccination and make travel more affordable with the antigen test. But this approach is not universal across the continent. Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said individuals, businesses and economies would all benefit from increased alignment across Europe in easing restrictions and restoring freedom of travel.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a structured approach is needed if the EU vaccination passport is to be effectively created by 1 July. In addition, governments of countries around the world need to allow the passport to be integrated into passenger applications such as IATA Passport to ease pressure on airports and borders.
Previously, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders revealed that more than one million European citizens have obtained the EU passports for the Covid-19.
The moves of Spain, France and other European countries have been evaluated as a step in the right direction by the International Air Transport Association. However, in order to restore global connectivity between countries, more regional and individual initiatives are needed, the association stresses.
“Connection needs countries on both ends of the flight to be open. Many of the world’s largest air travel markets, such as Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada, remain essentially closed with no clear plans to direct their reopening,” Walsh added.
With the exception of Spain and France, the United States is also considering resuming travel with European Union countries.