IATA Criticises EU’s Move To Reimpose Travel Restrictions On US Visitors

The International Air Transport (IATA) has reacted to the EU Council’s decision to exclude the US from the list of epidemiologically safe third countries, urging the European governments to at least allow the US citizens that were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be permitted to enter the EU zone without entry requirements.

Yesterday, the Council of the European Union decided to impose strict restrictions for several countries, including the US, due to infection rates soaring in the country lately.

“As governments rightly urge their populations to be vaccinated, governments need to be confident in the benefits they bring—including the freedom to travel. At a minimum, those who are fully vaccinated should be free to move without restriction,” the Director-General of IATA, Willie Walsh, said.

From now on, US travellers, as well as those arriving from Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Lebanon, are banned from travelling to the EU for non-essential purposes.

The EU has issued a list of epidemiologically safe third countries. The list includes:
Albania
Armenia
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brunei Darussalam
Canada
Japan
Jordan
New Zealand
Qatar
Republic of Moldova
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Singapore
South Korea
Ukraine

According to the World Health Organisation, while the United States have reported 1,849 covid deaths in the last 24 hours, and 141,651 positive cases were registered in the same period, other regions are being declared safe. In Kosovo, 932 new positive cases were reported and 10,947 in Israel. Lebanon has registered 775 positive cases, North Macedonia 294 and Montenegro 412.

“IATA supports unrestricted access to travel for vaccinated travellers. In cases where vaccination is not possible, access to quarantine-free travel should be provided through COVID-19 testing strategies based on widely available, free-of-charge tests,” the association said back in May.

Furthermore, the association has been an advocate for the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, saying that it has to be implemented globally. IATA applauded the EU’s leadership and record time of delivering the program, from which all EU Member States, Iceland, Switzerland and several third countries are benefiting.

IATA is a trade association that has been setting up technical standards for airlines since 1945. The association also organises different conferences, including those for price-fixing.

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