The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling upon governments to begin a “substantial programme of investment” to ensure that comprehensive testing can take place at airports to combat Covid-19.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO said: “It is imperative that all airports, catering for international travel, implement globally recognised testing standards for both inbound and outbound passengers. This will provide reassurance to all travellers, maintain ‘air corridors’ between countries, and remove damage and disruption caused by blunt quarantines which massively impact the recovery of the travel and tourism sector.
“Removing the whole of Spain from the UK travel corridors exception list risks causing irreparable damage to the travel and tourism sector. It also makes no sense; while Spain as a whole, and Catalonia in particular, has a higher rate of coronavirus cases than then UK, the rate in Andalucía, the Balearics and Canaries is actually lower than the UK.
“As part of the screening process, testing must involve temperature checks and swab tests for all arriving and departing passengers with results back within 24 hours, and only those testing positive – with or without symptoms – should be put into quarantine. Where there are apps to assist in effective test and trace regimes, passengers must be advised to sign up and use them.
“We are going to have to live with Covid-19 for the foreseeable future so we must do all we can to protect public health and save lives, whilst restoring consumer confidence, driving the global economic recovery, and saving the jobs of millions of people whose very livelihoods depend upon a thriving travel and tourism sector.”