Poll: Can Off-Airport Virus Testing Encourage Passenger Travel?

IATA wants countries to mutually recognize and accept COVID-19 tests on passengers performed within 24 hours of their flight rather than institute lengthy quarantines on incoming travelers.

In a media briefing June 16, IATA medical advisor David Powell acknowledged that no virus test was perfect, but was nonetheless a “reliable, reasonably affordable” and more viable option to quarantines.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said it was clear that quarantines were proving to be a “major deterrent” to air travel.

Powell said advances in COVID-19 testing were happening much faster than vaccine development, but until speedier and easier tests were readily available, off-airport tests would make flights safer.

“The more reasonable option is to test before departure,” Powell said. “If countries could agree to a testing regime [the day before flight], versus quarantine, that is a viable option.”

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