Call for clarity on Covid-19 testing

ALEXANDRIA, USA, 14 September 2020: Leading travel and aviation industry groups in the US have called on the government to take coordinated and deliberate action to reopen international travel markets safely.

Leading the call for action Global Business Travel Association says there is an urgent need for a collaborative approach between government and industry to ensure the development of standardized measures that promote needed consistency across the aviation system.

Establishing Testing Protocols

Appropriate Covid-19 testing protocols will enable the reopening of international travel markets while increasing confidence in the health and safety of the air transportation system. Globally, an increasing number of governments are implementing pre-travel testing requirements or post-arrival testing regimes. The letter urged the US government to work with the aviation industry to establish similar protocols expeditiously.

Testing Pilot Programme

There are many complexities surrounding Covid-19 testing. A globally accepted framework for testing protocols for international travel must be established. The letter calls on the government to partner with Europe, Canada, or the Pacific, to form a basis for evaluating the efficacy of such a programme, while collaborating with the aviation and travel industry to chart a path forward.

Testing pilots should address key considerations, including the availability and reliability of rapid diagnostic tests that can be conducted within a reasonable time window prior to departure.

The group calls for action to identify protocols that take into account the cost, speed and validity period of test results, risk tolerance thresholds, and accuracy of the tests.

“The economic toll this pandemic has already taken on the US economy is staggering,” said GBTA Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman. “The Global Business Travel Association and our industry partners stand ready to work with the government on the implementation of testing pilot protocols so that we can restore the operation and economic vitality of the air transportation system.”

Global Business Travel Association is business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington DC  with 9,000-plus members.

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