Selangor Journal
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, on March 7, 2018. — Picture by REUTERS

IATA urges governments to take experts’ advice against travel restrictions

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to listen to experts, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), that advised against travel restrictions.

Director general Willie Walsh said several countries are introducing Covid-19 testing and other measures for travellers from China even though the virus is already circulating widely within their borders. 

“It is extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years. 

“The governments must base their decisions on ‘science facts’ rather than ‘science politics’,” he said in a statement today.

Walsh said research undertaken around the arrival of the Omicron variant concluded that putting barriers in the way of travel made no difference to the peak spread of infections. 

He said at most, restrictions delayed that peak by a few days and if a new variant emerged in any part of the world, the same situation would be expected.

“That’s why governments should listen to the advice of experts, including the WHO, that advise against travel restrictions. 

“We have the tools to manage Covid-19 without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs,” he added.

— Bernama


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