Major airline groups push for end to coronavirus quarantines, travel bans

In this news, we discuss the Major airline groups push for end to coronavirus quarantines, travel bans.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States, state governments and some foreign countries should replace quarantines and travel bans of airline passengers with COVID-19 testing of travelers before departure and upon arrival, have announced Thursday from airlines and business groups.

They said the move would boost U.S. international air travel, which is down 78% year-over-year for the most recent seven-day period, according to airline industry data.

The groups, which include the International Air Transport Association, Airlines for America, the United States Chamber of Commerce, airline unions and the US Travel Association, called on the Trump administration, state governors and international partners “to pursue a risk-based and data-driven approach. COVID-19 testing-driven approach that would avoid the need to quarantine and ban travel so the travel network can be safely reopened.

The groups added that “travel quarantines are decimating our industry.”

Currently, 18 US states have some type of quarantine for arriving travelers, the groups said. Hawaii began last week allowing airline passengers who tested negative for COVID-19 to avoid a mandatory two-week quarantine on arrival.

The United States still has entry bans for almost all non-US citizens who were recently in China, UK, Ireland, Brazil, Iran, and countries in the so-called borderless zone Schengen in Europe.

Almost all of Europe still bans most American travelers, while the UK allows Americans to visit but requires a two-week quarantine on arrival.

“Persistent restrictions on international travel and differing state and country quarantine policies are hampering the recovery of the US economy,” the letter adds.

The Trump administration has had high-level discussions with countries like the UK, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Italy over the possibility of establishing “flight bubbles” that would allow travel or reduce quarantines if passengers accepted COVID-19 testing before departure. and upon arrival.

Discussions revolve around whether a quarantine would still be necessary, with some health experts in the Trump administration calling for a one-week quarantine and what test would be used. The rise in coronavirus infections in some countries, such as the United States, is a barrier to lifting restrictions.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Edited by Cynthia Osterman

Original © Thomson Reuters

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