The International Air Transport Association (IATA), together with Airlines for America (A4A) and 28 the United States and international travel and tourism stakeholder groups have called on the US government to abolish the pre-departure testing requirement for persons who have completed their immunization process against the virus and plan to enter the US.
According to them, the population that has been vaccinated against the Coronavirus poses no additional risk to the domestic US population, VisaGuide.World reports.
The statement published by IATA notes that the increase in the vaccination rates and immunity levels permits the US authorities to remove the testing requirement.
“The experience of Omicron has made it clear that travel restrictions have little to no impact in terms of preventing its spread. As Omicron is already broadly present across the US, fully vaccinated travelers bring no additional risk to the local population. International travelers should face no additional screening requirements than what is applied to domestic travel. In fact, at this stage of the pandemic, travel should be managed in the same way as access to shopping malls, restaurants, or offices,” IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh pointed out in this regard.
IATA has stressed that over 74.3 million people, or 22 percent of the US population, have had a Coronavirus, and that is undercounted, owing to asymptomatic infections and limited testing early in the pandemic.
In addition, the Organization has recalled that the European Union has called on its Member States to remove the travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the virus. At the same time, the United Kingdom has announced the removal of the Coronavirus pre-departure testing requirement for persons who have completed their immunization process against the Coronavirus.
The United Kingdom concluded that the cost of both passengers and airlines of the testing mandate could no longer be justified as there was no proof the regime protected the population from the Coronavirus.
Besides, a recent survey conducted by IATA revealed that a total of 62 percent of residents support removing the testing requirement for all vaccinated persons.
“Removing the pre-departure testing requirement for fully immunized travelers will greatly support the recovery of travel and aviation in the US and globally without increasing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in the US population. There is no use in closing the barn door after the horse has bolted,” Walsh pointed out in this regard.
Authorities in the US continue to keep in place preventive measures in order to stop another increase in the number of infections amid the ongoing pandemic situation.