IATA Calls European Countries to Lift Border Restrictions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has once again called on the European governments to find ways to re-establish global connectivity by reopening borders as well as to continue with relief measures to sustain airlines amid COVID-19 pandemic.

According to IATA’s statement, the travel demand continues to be annihilated by restrictions which have been imposed by a large share of countries, in an effort to stop the COVID-19 spread, such as border closure, travel restrictions and quarantine rules, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“Protecting their citizens must be the top priority of governments. But too many governments are fighting a global pandemic in isolation with a view that closing borders are the only solution,” IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac pointed out.

He added that governments must implement measures that would help the economy and social life to resume, at the same time, control the spread of the COVID-19.

IATA had previously showed that due to the imposed travel restrictions, the number of flights in Europe is 50 per cent below, in recent months, compared to the same period last year.

Moreover, the association stressed that about 60 per cent of the decrease could be marked in the passenger numbers or about 705 million passenger journeys.

These conclusions came after the estimation of the impacts which have been caused by the Coronavirus on several sectors such as economy, employment as well as in air passenger numbers.

Europe border restrictions

IATA’s latest report stressed that a total of 79.8 per cent decrease had been noted in air traffic, in July, compared to the same period in 2019, while international traffic during July was 91.9 per cent below compared to the previous year.

“Many airlines will not have the financial means to survive an indefinite shutdown that, for many, already exceeds a half-year. In these extraordinary times, governments will need to continue with financial and other relief measures to the greatest extent possible,” IATA’s Director General stressed.

IATA calls governments to focus on the reopening of borders and lifting the imposed restrictions.

Last month, airlines and airports urged countries to accept a negative COVID-19 test result, within 48 hours instead of applying quarantine rules for passengers, upon their arrival.

However, a poll conducted by European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) found that European citizens agree that their borders need to be more protected amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the respect for human rights should be supported.

“One of its most unequivocal results was a widespread belief that, over the long term, borders needed to be controlled more,” the ECFR’s statement reads.

The poll was conducted in nine European countries including Denmark, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Spain, Portugal and Sweden, in which participated over11,000 persons.

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