GENEVA, 26 April 2021: Countries should not require proof of
vaccination as a condition of entry, and they should swiftly adopt the aviation
industry’s IATA Travel Pass that is critical to avoid fraud and facilitate
efficient passenger processing when travel scales up.
These are the core highlights from the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) that on Friday urged states to comply with
recommendations on international travel from the World Health Organization’s
International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on testing and risk
management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IATA supports the call for nations not to require proof of
vaccination as a condition of entry for travellers.
Instead, they should implement coordinated, time-limited,
risk-based, and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to
It is also imperative to reduce the financial burden on
international travellers for the measures such as testing,
isolation/quarantine, and vaccination, in accordance with Article 40 of the
International Health Regulations.
IATA also backs the WHO Emergency Committee’s calls for the
prioritisation of vaccination for seafarers and aircrews.
“If implemented, these recommendations will help
governments manage the risks of Covid-19, keep their citizens safe and protect
millions of livelihoods that are at risk. The goal is to safely return to more
normal lives, including the freedom to travel, while managing the risks of
Covid-19, which are likely to be with us for some time. Airlines are experts at
risk management. It underpins safe and reliable daily operations. Governments
should tap into the airline industry’s capabilities to help them implement
efficient measures for testing and vaccination that can supersede the blunt
instrument of quarantine. That could safely move us towards a more normal world
with the freedom to travel and the opportunity to earn a living in the
sector,” said IATA’s director general Willie Walsh.
IATA Travel Pass will beat fraudsters
IATA recommends that the “WHO produce interim guidance
and tools related to standardisation of paper and digital documentation of
Covid-19 travel-related risk reduction measures (vaccination status, SARS-COV-2
testing and Covid-19 recovery status) in the context of international
IATA supports secure global standards for travel health
credentials saying they are critical to avoid fraud and facilitate efficient
passenger processing when travel scales up.
It claims the Industry is ready with the IATA Travel Pass to
manage testing and vaccination documentation for travel. Governments are also
producing similar apps of their own. But without global standards, these
efforts will remain disjointed and never reach their full potential.
“Agreement on a digital standard for testing and
vaccination documentation is a critical next step. Without globally recognised
standards to prove that someone has been vaccinated or tested, the potential
for frustrated travellers, fraudulent actors and overwhelmed border authorities
is very real. Work needs to be accelerated, or the eventual restart will be
defeated by mountains of paper,” said Walsh.