The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging all branches of the European Union to support the ‘travel vaccination certificate’.
As reported on GCT, last week Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called for the creation of an EU-wide Covid-19 vaccination certificate that will help restore safe travel that has been devastated by the pandemic.
In an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and also to key EU policy-makers, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac called on EU states to coordinate a policy that would see Europe “safely gain the economic and social benefits of renewed freedom of movement, beginning with those who are vaccinated.”
“Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ initiative should be urgently adopted by the Commission and all member states. Vaccination is a fundamental key to safely reopening borders and stimulating economic recovery,” he added.
According to IATA, the requirement for a harmonised safe aviation restart is more urgent than ever.
“A pan-European mutually recognised vaccination certificate would be an important step towards giving governments the confidence to safely open their borders, and passengers the confidence to fly without the barrier of quarantine.”
EU leaders will discuss the idea during their scheduled meeting on Thursday, January 21.
“It is hoped they will direct the Commission to take action and develop a common certification,” IATA’s CEO concluded.
During the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Crisis Committee meeting in Madrid on Monday, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis proposed three steps to restart tourism: Covid-19 vaccination, rapid antigen testing and exchange of data.
Theoharis is the president of the UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Europe.
He stressed the need for EU governments to converge with travel and tourism stakeholders and coordinate actions in order to facilitate safe travel.
As the minister pointed out, “people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 should move freely. However, we must make it absolutely clear that vaccination should not be mandatory or a prerequisite for travel.”