The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging governments to find alternatives to arrival quarantine measures, after a survey it conducted found that 69% of travellers would not consider flying if it involved a 14-day isolation period.
The UK and Spain are among a growing list of nations that have indicated intentions to implement some form of quarantine measure for people arriving from abroad. The UK government confirmed this week that it will introduce such requirements but did not specify a date.
Willie Walsh, IAG’s CEO said on Monday that such measures would drastically reduce the group’s capacity and that a review into its plans for a “meaningful return” to service in July would have to take place.
On Tuesday, Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair described the rules as “idiotic” saying they would be “ineffective” at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures. We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle [and] it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”
The survey also found that 86% of travellers were “somewhat or very concerned about being quarantined while travelling”.
The association proposed a temporary “risk-based layered approach” which it says will provide governments with the confidence to open their border without quarantining arrivals. The plans include preventing travel by those who are symptomatic with temperature screening and managing the risk posed by asymptomatic passengers by using a “robust system of health declarations and vigorous contact tracing.”