Irish Aviation Authority calls for quarantine to be replaced with pre-flight testing

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Digital Desk Staff

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has called for testing of passengers at airports as opposed to enforced quarantine, in order to let international travel resume.

The group warned the aviation sector across Europe is going to lose €140 billion this year as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism and international travel continues to add up.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the IAA has said meaningful levels of air travel can not return until there is an effective testing system in place at airports for passengers.

Paul Brandon, head of corporate affairs with the IAA, said the European Union (EU) as a whole needs to change its system of quarantine restrictions on international travel.

Mr Brandon said: "In terms of testing at airports, an EU-wide system that replaces quarantine measures with airport pre-departure testing is required.

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"Such a system could allow all passengers, or more appropriately passengers travelling from a red or an orange country to be tested on the day or a day in advance of travel."

Pre-pandemic levels

The IAA has also warned that it may take until 2024 or 2025 before business conditions return to normality for the sector and passenger numbers to reach pre-pandemic levels.

The aviation group said that a recovery in air travel is not possible without such a testing system in operation in order to support the EU's traffic light system for international arrivals.

Last week the government agreed to align Ireland with the EU's new international travel system to regulate travel restrictions across the continent.

This plan allows for international travel without quarantine based on a weekly map published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Member states of the EU will be coded by the 14-day incident rate of Covid-19 and other epidemiological factors into three levels, Red, Orange and Green.

Passengers arriving from a country labelled: 'Green' under the system would not be required to quarantine or take a test on arrival. Arrivals from countries designated: 'Red' or 'Orange' under the system will need to take a test a or quarantine.

A fourth system colour, 'Grey,' means there is not enough data available for arrivals from this country and that quarantine restrictions and tests would apply for arrivals as well.

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