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Another Trade Group Calls for COVID-19 Testing Instead of Quarantine

Another Trade Group Calls for COVID-19 Testing Instead of Quarantine
Joe Cortez

One of the biggest trade groups in the aviation sector is asking nations to drop their quarantine requirements in favor of rigorous passenger testing. Airport Council International is asking nations to once again re-open borders, and control the spread of COVID-19 through testing upon arrival

Airport Councils International is the latest trade organization to call for governments to drop quarantine rules in favor of a universal COVID-19 testing protocol. In a press release, the trade organization is asking states to consider “risk-based” measures which are “informed by evidence” instead of fear.

ACI Asks to Stop Blanket Quarantine Rules and Recognition for Health Certificates

Since the novel Coronavirus outbreak began in February 2020, nations around the world responded by closing their borders to foreign travelers. In the beginning of March 2020, the White House announced they would suspend all travel into the United States from Europe for 30 days, with Europe responding with a similar ban that has not been lifted. Other nations, including The Bahamas, also closed borders to Americans, fearing travelers would spread the highly contagious disease.

But instead of banning all travelers outright, ACI is asking for governments to adopt a universal set of rules which would allow international travel once again. The group is reaching out to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to create standards for global commercial aviation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unilateral national measures, especially a quarantine requirement, is damaging to both the industry and passenger confidence,” ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said in a press release. “Unnecessary quarantine measures are particularly harmful to passenger confidence as international air travelers have no assurance that, if they make flight arrangements, they will be able to return to their place of departure to continue their daily lives. Harmonized measures and a risk-based approach that relies on scientific evidences will help to restore the traveler confidence and support the economy recovery of the aviation ecosystem.”

To those ends, ACI is proposing a list of mitigation measures which would open borders once again, without spreading the COVID-19 virus. These options include testing before and after travel as an alternative to 14-day quarantines, and the issuance of “properly issued health certificates” for travelers.

“A risk-based approach would support the concept of travel bubbles, with low risk countries requiring no testing or quarantine for travel,” de Oliveira said in the release. “Medium risk locations might require testing only, with mutual acceptance of test results and arrivals from high risk locations might require a combination of testing and a short quarantine to enable the verification of results.

Risk-Based Program Would Complement ICAO Take-Off Guidance

If implemented correctly, ACI says their plan would seamlessly fit into ICAO’s CART Take-off guidance. The ICAO standards offers clear guidance for airports, airlines, and aircraft crews to offer services to customers as the pandemic continues. It matches similar calls from airlines and other trade groups to find a way to re-open skies

As it stands today, the civil aviation extension of the United Nations says airlines could lose up to $314 billion in revenue, while airports could lose up to $100 billion. ACI says their recommendations could allow airlines and airports to reopen international travel in a coordinated manner.

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. StuckInYYZ

    August 17, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    And is ACI or the ICAO going to take responsibility for someone who shows symptoms four days into a visit? All the costs for contact tracing as well as the other overhead costs?

    The crickets are deafening…

  2. OZFLYER86

    August 17, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    the world has to open up or we’ll be shooting each other very soon.

  3. OZFLYER86

    August 17, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    in Australia due to border closures & overly generous welfare, we have around 1 million people on special covid 19 unemployment benefits of AUD$1500/fortnight (over USD$1000) & yet farmers can’t get anyone to pick their fruit & vegetables, so much of crops will rot on ground & prices will go through the roof.

    Previously, backpackers & Pacific Islanders on restrictive work visas did a lot of the picking.

    Crazy !!!!!!

  4. yyccdg

    August 17, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Great, and the airlines are willing to throw how much towards this proposal?

  5. glob99

    August 18, 2020 at 12:21 am

    Some people don’t test positive until a few days AFTER symptoms appear.

  6. gaelflyer

    August 18, 2020 at 4:16 am

    The problem is that you would need more than one Covid19 test several days apart to be effective.

  7. dsellens

    August 18, 2020 at 8:20 am

    I suppose that you could reduce the quarantine from 14 to 5 days if you had a super accurate test that could be given at 5 days that would guarantee that the person was clean of the virus. After all, the incubation period is 3 to 5 days, so a test on day of travel would not be effective at all.

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