Iata’s boss has criticised “knee-jerk” border tightening by the UK and other nations in response to Covid-19.
In a media briefing, Iata chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said countries including UK, Canada, Germany and Japan had “tightened borders in a knee-jerk response to a virus mutation”.
He said these nations had added testing to Covid measures “without removing quarantine requirements. “In other words, they have chosen policy measures that will shut down travel.”
De Juniac added: “This approach tells us that these governments are not interested in managing a balanced approach to the risks of Covid-19.
“They appear to be aiming for a zero-Covid world. This is an impossible task that comes with severe consequences—the full extent of which it would be impossible to calculate.”
De Juniac argued for a “balanced” approach: “One that is based on testing as a replacement for quarantines so that we can begin addressing the severe side-effects of Covid-19 policies.”
He added: “Science tells us that travellers will not be a significant factor in community transmission if testing is used effectively.
"But most governments have tunnel-vision on quarantine and are not at all focused on finding ways to safely re-open borders or alleviate the self-imposed economic and mental health hardships of the lockdowns.”