IATA Calls On Governments to Lift Travel BansBy Emilio Aristegui | Thu, 12/16/2021 - 15:00
IATA called on governments to lift travel bans after WHO advised that these will not prevent the spread of COVID-19 as countries seek to control exposure to the Omicron variant. Mexico, meanwhile, maintains its open-border policy for most countries.
“Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods. In addition, they can adversely impact global health efforts during a pandemic by disincentivizing countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data. All countries should ensure that measures are regularly reviewed and updated when new evidence becomes available on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Omicron or any other variants of concern,” reads IATA’s press release.
IATA is calling on governments to move away from uncoordinated strategies that have no bases or evidence regarding the spread, as the association states that all governments “agreed” to review measures and make timely decisions altogether. IATA blames rushed decisions for altering travel plans for passengers and adding uncertainty to end-of-the-year travel plans.
Removing bans is extremely complex for governments after being put in the first place, however. Reviewing them is very complex even when evidence points toward lifting them as the best course of action. Nevertheless, IATA calls for review periods for governments imposing these measures, especially in the case of the Omicron variant, as the association says countries are still in time to lift their bans unaffecting future travel.
“Mexico has not adopted restrictions for the air entry of visitors and the return of Mexicans from other countries. Personnel from the Ministry of Health are at the points of entry to the country to attend people who present symptoms associated with the coronavirus to take the corresponding measures,” reads the Ministry of Foreign Relations’ travel guide.