With many countries continuing to impose strict travel restrictions, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that travelers are increasingly frustrated with the situation.
With a survey conducted by IATA, which included 4,700 respondents from 11 different markets in September, it was established that a large percentage believe that the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic can be adequately managed and that freedom of travel should be restored as soon as possible.
Among the respondents who took part in the survey, 67 percent believe most borders should open now, and 64 percent feel that closing the borders is unnecessary because it has not been effective in containing the virus.
Additionally, 73% of survey respondents said that due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, their quality of life has deteriorated, TheSchengen.com reports.
People are increasingly frustrated with the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus, and more of them have even seen their quality of life deteriorate as a result. They don’t see the need for travel restrictions to control the virus. They have missed out on so many family moments, personal development opportunities and work priorities,” said Willie Walsh, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Support grows to replace quarantine with proof of testing and vaccination
According to the International Air Transport Association, the main barrier to air travel remains quarantine requirements. Among all participants, 84 percent indicated that they would not travel if the destination country had self-isolation measures in place. Regardless, an increasing number of respondents are in favor of abolishing the quarantine requirement if the person has tested negative for COVID-19 and if the person has been vaccinated.
With vaccination rates increasing worldwide, 80 percent of participants agree that those who have been vaccinated against the virus should be able to travel freely by air. However, there are still strong opinions against making vaccination mandatory for air travel. About two-thirds think it is wrong to restrict travel only to those who have been vaccinated.
In addition, 80 percent of participants feel that testing before air travel should be an alternative only for people who cannot get vaccinated. Although 85 percent are willing to get tested for COVID-19 if needed, there are still several issues:
75 percent of respondents cited the cost of testing as a significant barrier 80 percent believed that the government should cover the cost of testing
There is a message here for governments. People are willing to test to travel. But they don’t like the cost or the inconvenience. Both can be addressed by governments. Walsh added that the reliability of rapid antigen tests is recognized by the World Health Organization.
>> The International Air Transport Association criticizes the ongoing travel restrictions and urges governments to end them as soon as possible
Moreover, among those who have traveled since June last year, 87 percent believe that coronavirus protection measures are well implemented, 86 percent feel safe on board, and 88 percent believe airline employees are doing work in Enforcement of rules.
Finally, there is strong support regarding the face mask, with 87 percent of respondents agreeing that keeping a mask will help prevent the spread of the virus.
Previously, the International Air Transport Association warned that planned cost increases by airports and air navigation service providers would harm customers and delay the restoration of air travel.