The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the publication of the manual on testing and cross border risk management measures by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The document provides governments a risk-based assessment tool for using testing programs that could alleviate quarantine requirements.

It is a critical output produced by the ICAO Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA).

This encouraging progress follows recent comments from the Who Health Organisation’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee chair, Didier Houssin, who foresees a role for testing as a means of re-opening international travel without quarantine measures.

Following the WHO Emergency Committee meeting on October 30th, he said: “Clearly the use of the tests is certainly now supposed to have a much larger place compared to quarantine, for example, which would certainly facilitate things considering all the efforts which have been made by airlines and by airports.”

CAPSCA brings together the expertise of states, public health authorities and industry experts.

“Momentum is building in support of our call for systematic testing to safely re-open borders without quarantine measures.

“ICAO, working with health authorities and industry, has produced a high-level framework.

“Health authorities are beginning to explore how testing could supersede quarantine to stop the cross-border spread of the virus.

“Encouraging results from testing pilot programs should now give states the confidence to move forward quickly,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general EO.