The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling upon governments around the world to begin a substantial programme of investment to ensure comprehensive testing facilities are implemented at airports, which will help prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) and see the return of safe travels.
“It is imperative that all airports, catering for international travel, implement globally recognised testing standards for both inbound and outbound passengers,” WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara said on Wednesday.
According to Guevara, testing at airports will provide reassurance to all travellers, maintain ‘air corridors’ between countries, and remove damage and disruption caused by blunt quarantines which massively impact the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector.
“Removing the whole of Spain from the UK travel corridors exception list risks causing irreparable damage to the Travel & Tourism sector. It also makes no sense; while Spain as a whole, and Catalonia in particular, has a higher rate of coronavirus cases than then UK, the rate in Andalucía, the Balearics and Canaries is actually lower than the UK,” Guevara said.
The WTTC says that as part of the screening process, testing must involve temperature checks and swab tests for all arriving and departing passengers with results back within 24 hours, and only those testing positive – with or without symptoms – should be put into quarantine. Where there are apps to assist in effective Test & Trace regimes, passengers must be advised to sign up and use them.
“We are going to have to live with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future so we must do all we can to protect public health and save lives, whilst restoring consumer confidence, driving the global economic recovery, and saving the jobs of millions of people whose very livelihoods depend upon a thriving Travel & Tourism sector,” Guevara added.