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COVID-19 tests on travelers from China | The International Air Transport Association denounces “ineffective” measures



(Paris) The imposition of COVID-19 tests on travelers from China by a growing number of countries constitutes an “impulsive” and “ineffective” response, Iata, the main representative of global airlines, regretted on Wednesday.

“Several countries are introducing COVID-19 testing and other measures for travelers from China, when the virus is already circulating widely within their borders. It is extremely disappointing to see this impulsive reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the past three years, “said Willie Walsh, director general of Iata (International Air Transport Association), quoted in a press release.

Beijing considered “unacceptable” on Tuesday the imposition of these measures by a dozen countries, including the United States, Australia, Italy or France, deeming them “devoid of scientific basis”.

An opinion shared by the organization which claims to account for 300 companies totaling 83% of global air traffic: studies have, according to it, shown that “the establishment of obstacles to travel does not change anything at the peak of the spread of infections. At most, the restrictions delayed this peak by a few days. »

Three years after the start of the pandemic, the aviation sector has, according to the organization, the “necessary tools” to deal with the virus “without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international travel, harm economies and destroy jobs”.

Global air traffic was expected to reach 70.6% of its 2019 level in 2022, but it stagnated at 44.3% in the Asia-Pacific region, mainly due to China’s zero COVID-19 policy – finally lifted on December 7 –, estimated the Iata at the beginning of December.

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