In the course of the current discussion about necessary facilitations in traveling, the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG) draws attention to the latest recommendations of the independent emergency committee, which advises the World Health Organization (WHO) on pandemic issues. Among other things, the committee recommends:
“Do not require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry.”
BARIG comments: In Germany, corresponding necessities are already being discussed. The current status: People who are fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) or have recently recovered completely from a COVID-19 infection or have a negative test result shall not be denied entry as soon as travel becomes possible again. The combination of vaccination and testing makes it possible to reopen borders and enable people to move freely, while minimizing the risks of COVID-19 for the population. In this context, internationally coordinated regulations remain highly important.
“Implement coordinated, time-limited, risk-based, and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international traffic.”
BARIG: The air traffic industry supports risk-based actions to enable international travel with the highest level of health safety. The sector has great expertise in identifying and analyzing risks and taking appropriate countermeasures. To this end, the air traffic industry is in close dialog with policymakers and governments in other countries. Concepts and approaches are coordinated together so that people can avoid health risks to themselves and other travelers.
“Prioritize vaccination for seafarers and air crews.”
BARIG: Employees in aviation often have contact with many people – be it in the aircraft cabin or at the airport. For this reason, in Germany, they are treated on an equal footing with the occupational groups of food retailers, public transport and rail transport, local government, and delivery services, being all prioritized for the Corona vaccination. This creates an essential prerequisite for air traffic and unrestricted movement which is needed to maintain functioning global trade and supply chains. Additionally, in order to curb the pandemic, vaccines, medication, and medical equipment for example, must be transported frequently and rapidly by air.
Regarding the recommendations of the WHO Emergency Committee, BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe states: “The recommendations for action proposed by the committee support the industry's efforts to continuously strengthen safe flying. Only coordinated action by all stakeholders at an international level will allow people to see their families, friends, and relatives again after more than 14 months of the pandemic, or to travel for business. The challenge now is to effectively coordinate the various measures in Europe and beyond to ensure much-needed mobility and to support the recovery of national economies in a sustained manner.”