The International Air Transport (IATA) has reacted to the EU Council’s decision to exclude the US from the list of epidemiologically safe third countries, urging the European governments to at least allow the US citizens that were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be permitted to enter the EU zone without entry requirements, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“As governments rightly urge their populations to be vaccinated, governments need to be confident in the benefits they bring—including the freedom to travel. At a minimum, those who are fully vaccinated should be free to move without restriction,” the Director-General of IATA, Willie Walsh, said.
Yesterday, the Council of the European Union decided to impose strict restrictions for several countries, including the US, due to infection rates soaring in the country lately.
From now on, US travellers, as well as those arriving from Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Lebanon, are banned from travelling to the EU for non-essential purposes.
On the other hand, the following countries remain part of the EU’s epidemiologically safe third countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- New Zealand
- Republic of Moldova
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
According to the World Health Organisation, the United States have reported 1,849 deaths related to Coronavirus in the last 24 hours, whereas 141,651 positive cases were registered in the same period. In Kosovo, 932 new positive cases were reported and 10,947 in Israel. Lebanon has registered 775 positive cases, North Macedonia 294 and Montenegro 412.
“IATA supports unrestricted access to travel for vaccinated travellers. In cases where vaccination is not possible, access to quarantine-free travel should be provided through COVID-19 testing strategies based on widely available, free-of-charge tests,” the association said back in May.
Furthermore, the association has been an advocate for the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, saying that it has to be implemented globally. IATA applauded the EU’s leadership and record time of delivering the program, from which all EU Member States, Iceland, Switzerland and several third countries are benefiting.
“The DCC was delivered in record time to help facilitate the reopening of EU states to travel. In the absence of a single global standard for digital vaccine certificates, it should serve as a blueprint for other nations looking to implement digital vaccination certificates to help facilitate travel and its associated economic benefits,” Deputy Director-General Conrad Clifford said.
IATA is a trade association that has been setting up technical standards for airlines since 1945. The association also organises different conferences, including those for price-fixing.