IATA calls on EU states to adopt European Commission proposal on open borders

8 September, 2020

IATA welcomed (08-Sep-2020) European Commission (EC) proposals to better coordinate and communicate on travel restrictions in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key among the proposals are the following:

  • Greater predictability with common criteria for introducing COVID-19 measures and advance notice of weekly changes;
  • Common criteria for measures with a preference for testing over quarantine;
  • Simplified communication of risk using a colour coded traffic light system;

The EU is proposing to simplify infection rate calculations into four risk categories as follows:

  • Green for an area where the total number of newly notified COVID-19 cases is less than 25 per 100,000 people during a 14 day period and the percentage of positive tests from all COVID-19 tests is less than 3%;
  • Orange for an area where the total number of newly notified COVID-19 cases is less than 50 per 100,000 during a 14 day period, but the percentage of positive tests from all COVID-19 tests is 3% or more, or the total number of newly notified COVID-19 cases is between 25 and 150 but the percentage of positive tests from all COVID-19 tests is less than 3%;
  • Red for an area where the total number of newly notified COVID-19 cases is more than 50 per 100,000 during a 14 day period and the percentage of positive tests from all COVID-19 tests is 3% or more, or the total number of newly notified COVID-19 cases is more than 150 per 100,000 people during a 14 day period;
  • Grey if there is insufficient information available to assess the criteria proposed by the EC or the number of COVID-19 tests carried out per 100,000 people is less than 250.

The EC is proposing that member states should not restrict free movement of people travelling from another Member State that comply with specific criteria. The EC further states that travelers arriving from 'red' or 'grey' states could be required to undergo a COVID-19 test after arrival or prior to departure, the Commission's preferred option, with quarantine only imposed as a last resort. IATA's regional VP for Europe Rafael Schvartzman said the EC's proposals "are an opportunity for Europe to move from lockdown to managing risks by learning to live with the virus". IATA looks forward to working with the EC to "refine and implement these measures consistently across its member states," he said. [more - original PR]