Geneva [Switzerland], Apr 27 (ANI): The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said it is encouraged by the comments of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (EC), that the EU will grant unrestricted access to vaccinated travellers from the United States.
"This is a step in the right direction. It gives hope to people for so many reasons -- to travel, to reunite with loved ones, to develop business opportunities or to get back to work. To fulfil that hope, details of the EC's intentions are essential," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.
To be fully prepared, he said, it is imperative that the EC works with the industry so that airlines can plan within the public health benchmarks and timelines that will enable unconditional travel for those vaccinated, not just from the US but from all countries using vaccines that are approved by the European Medicines Association.
"Equally critical will be clear, simple and secure digital processes for vaccination certificates. The IATA Travel Pass can help industry and governments manage and verify vaccination status, as it does with testing certificates. But we are still awaiting the development of globally recognised standards for digital vaccine certificates," said Walsh.
While IATA welcomed President von der Leyen's comments, it said the freedom to travel should not exclude those who are unable to be vaccinated. The presentation of negative COVID-19 test results should also facilitate travel.
"The freedom to travel must not be restricted to only those who have access to vaccinations. Vaccines are not the only way to safely re-open borders. Government risk-models should also include COVID-19 testing," said Walsh. (ANI)