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European Aviation Groups Demand Quarantines End Because of Widespread COVID-19 Transmission

Two airport trade groups are joining the International Air Transport Association in demanding European nations end quarantines for arriving passengers, because “transmission of the virus is already widespread.” The groups argue that quarantines are ineffective as travelers account for less than one percent of detected COVID-19 cases.

Three airport and aviation trade groups are demanding European Union nations end their quarantine requirements for flyers, based on the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is already “widespread” and forcing isolation is ineffective. In a joint press release, the International Air Transport Association, Airlines for Europe and Airports Council International – Europe are all calling on governments to stop isolation schemes, based on new evidence from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Evidence Suggests Flyers Carry Less Than One Percent of COVID-19 Cases

According to the three groups, data from the EASA and ECDC suggest that air travelers account for less than one percent of all detected COVID-19 cases, which may not necessarily increase the rate of virus transmission. In addition, the groups note that there is already widespread transmission of the novel Coronavirus across European nations. The groups conclude that quarantines only serve to discourage international travel and commerce, instead of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“These guidelines unequivocally show quarantines to be essentially politically-driven, non-risk-based measures which bear no relation to what is actually needed to safeguard public health,” Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI – Europe, said in the press release. “As such, quarantines fail the test of proportionality, a key principle of EU law – particularly since there are no equivalent measures at land borders.”

The group also point to evidence from an Air Canada/McMaster HealthLabs study where international travelers were voluntarily tested upon arrival at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). An interim report shows 99 percent of arrivals tested negative for COVID-19, suggesting pre- and post-travel tests may be good tools to make “science-based policy decisions.”

Instead of quarantines, the groups are once again calling for a testing regimen to be adopted across the European Union member states. They are asking the nations to work together to create testing initiatives and “develop more quarantine free travel corridors.”

Other Research Suggests Inherent Risk to Air Travel

While the three groups are encouraging opening borders to international travelers, other research suggests that flyers could still be exposed to the novel Coronavirus on aircraft, and ultimately spread it when they reach their destination. A pre-print research paper from a group of New Zealand scientists suggest one flight was responsible for multiple COVID-19 cases, some of which were only discovered during the quarantine period.

FEasy December 7, 2020

"Lottery winners account for les than 0.00...01 percent of cases. Clearly, we should exempt them from quarantine!" What about professional skydivers? They account for really very few cases too! Or people using FEasy as a username? There have been *zero* cases among those going back as far as February. The argument is clearly baloney.

Grog December 5, 2020

In further news, European Aviation Groups Also Demands 1) An End to Nuclear Treaties and 2) an End to Locks on Private Household doors. Since nine countries on Earth are already armed with nuclear, it's ineffective to stop the widespread possession of nuclear weapons. Also, since there is already petty crime in every country anyway, it's ineffective to try to reduce the threat of home invasions and theft.

RedElmo December 3, 2020

Wow! This will just spread the cases faster! Kill more people faster!

BMGRAHAM December 3, 2020

One opinion, the only opinion I've seen quoted that suggests transmission risk is high, and not peer reviewed. The quoted evidence is much more convincing.

FEasy December 3, 2020

"air travelers account for less than one percent of all detected COVID-19 cases".. Whether to impose quarantine on someone only depends on the likelihood that that person is infected. The size of the group he/she belong to does not matter. Otherwise, we could exempt all left-handed people, since they likely also account for a signifiantly smaller share of infections.