IATA says COVID testing requirements for China proved ineffective

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IATA says COVID testing requirements for China proved ineffective

People wait in terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport, near London, Britain, on December 23, 2022, in the arrivals hall. PHOTO AGENCIES The International Air Transport Association IATA said the COVID 19 testing requirements and other measures for travellers from China have proved ineffective and called for governments to base their decisions on science facts rather than science politics. Several countries are introducing COVID 19 testing and other measures for travellers from China, even though the virus is already circulating widely within their borders. It is extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years, said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General, in a statement released on Wednesday.

Putting barriers in the way of travel did not affect the peak spread of infections, according to research undertaken around the arrival of the Omicron variant. The peak was delayed by a few days, and restrictions were put in place by the end of the day. If a new variant comes to the world, the same situation would be expected, he said.

That's why governments should listen to the advice of experts, including the WHO, that advise against travel restrictions. We have the tools to manage COVID-19 without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs. Governments must base their decisions on'science facts' rather than'science politics', Walsh said.

The IATA is a large international trade association for world airlines. It has over 300 member airlines in the world, which make up 83 percent of the total air traffic in the world.

READ MORE: No health code, no test, needed for traveling on a plane.

As a major change to the country's antivirus strategy, the downgrade will ease restrictions for inbound travellers, and they will no longer have to undergo quarantine or take a nucleic acid test upon arrival in China, starting January 8.