Aviation association slams ‘ineffective’ Covid testing of China arrivals

Geneva, Jan 4 (EFE).- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday criticized the Covid-19 testing requirements imposed by several countries on inbound travelers from China.

IATA chief, Willie Walsh, described the new restrictions put in place by several nations after Beijing lifted its zero-Covid policy last month as “ineffective” and that tools to manage the pandemic already exist.

“It is extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years,” Walsh said.

Recalling the situation when Omicron broke out a year ago, Walsh said that such measures proved they could, at most, delay the spread of new variants of the virus by a few days.

He added that instead these measures “cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs.”

“Governments must base their decisions on ‘science facts’ rather than ‘science politics’,” he continued.

In the past week, countries like the United States, Spain, Italy, India, Japan and the United Kingdom have imposed Covid restrictions on arrivals from China.

According to the association’s website, IATA represents some 290 airlines, handling 83% of the world’s air traffic.

On Tuesday, the Dutch KLM airline rolled out precautionary measures for staff working on flights from China, including the use of FFP2 masks and separate bathrooms, after employees and trade unions voiced concerns last week, a company spokeswoman told Efe.EFE


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