The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has branded current global travel restrictions “a mess” with pre-arrival testing coming strongly under the spotlight.
The airline group represents 290 airlines including Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat.
Travel Restrictions under scrutiny
Under the current travel restrictions, international travellers arriving in Canada must provide a pre-arrival negative PCR test. Those arriving from anywhere other than the U.S. will also be tested on arrival, and quarantine until they receive a negative result, regardless of their vaccination status.
In a statement released last week, Walsh lamented “the billions spent testing travellers” that “would be far more effective if allocated to vaccine distribution or strengthening health care systems.”
“There is one problem—COVID-19. But there seem to be more unique solutions to managing travel and COVID-19 than there are countries to travel to.” said Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA.
What’s happening in Canada?
It has been a rough start to the year, with Canadian airlines cancelling more than 1,500 flights in 2022 as of Jan. 19, with WestJet cancelling a further 20 per cent of it’s scheduled February flights, as the company struggles with staff shortages and what it says is “the prolonged impact of government barriers.”
Pressure has certainly mounted on the federal government following news from England: Boris Johnson announced last week that all testing requirements for the vaccinated have been scrapped, stating that “now is a fantastic time to book a trip and enjoy the best the U.K. has to offer.”
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