Airlines call for ‘immunity passports’ ahead of industry’s restart

Published: 21 May 2020 - 5 a.m.

A group representing airlines has called for immunity passports to be included in the aviation industry's biosecurity strategy as governments begin to lift travel restrictions and allow passenger flights to operate.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the industry needs to take a layered approach to biosecurity and that it would support the development of immunity passports to segregate no-risk travellers.

“There is no single measure that will reduce risk and enable a safe re-start of flying,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s CEO.

“But a layering measures that are globally implemented and mutually recognised by governments can achieve the needed outcome. A layered approach has worked with safety and with security. It’s the way forward for biosecurity as well.”

IATA recommends that before flights, passenger data including health information should be collected before travel.

At the airport, IATA says a number of measures should be implemented including temperature screening, physical distancing, face masks, self-service check-in and increased sanitisation.

Recommended in-flight measures include face masks, pre-packaged catering and more frequent cabin cleaning.

IATA also said it supports testing when scalable, accurate and fast results are available. Testing at the start of the travel process would create a ‘sterile’ travel environment that would reassure travellers and governments, it said.

The group is opposing quarantine measures and social distancing on-board, claiming that such measures are unnecessary and would harm an industry already struggling to stay afloat.

IATA published its recommendation’s in Biosecurity for Air Transport: A Roadmap for Restarting Aviation.

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