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Moves to standardise Covid-19 certificates

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MONTREAL, 15 March 2021: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council’s approval of the latest recommendations from its Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART).

Key outputs included recommendations for the temporary liberalisation of cargo flights; priority vaccination of aircrew and increased cooperation among governments to implement CART recommendations and guidance. New guidelines were also released on testing certificates.

Risk management and vaccination.

“Under the leadership of ICAO and with the full support of the industry. Of course, these recommendations, guidelines and tools are only meaningful if they are adopted universally. It is crucial that states implement this guidance, particularly as they plan for the restart of international aviation when borders are able to open. As we have said many times, it was easy to shut down aviation with individual decisions. Restarting and maintaining operations to deliver economically and socially vital connectivity can only happen if all parties work together. The CART recommendations are the building blocks for that cooperation,” said  IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac,

“One of the most important recommendations from this work is the call for national authorities to ensure that CART delivers results in national decision-making. We all know how important aviation is to the economy. And the harmonised implementation of these guidelines is what will put people back in jobs by getting the industry moving again. As ICAO tracks implementation, it is also critical to track the impact of the latest developments in Covid-19 on risk management frameworks, especially as we learn more about the effectiveness of vaccines against transmission,” said de Juniac.

Harmonising Certificates

Requirements for globally accepted Covid-19 test certificates, including the technology framework for securely creating digital versions and the future incorporation of vaccination certificates, have gained approval. The recommendations are now included in the ICAO Manual on Testing Cross-Border Risk Management Measures.

From the perspective of preparing for an industry restart, this is one of the most significant outputs of CART. Public opinion also reflects this, with a recent IATA poll reporting that 89% of respondents believe that governments must standardise vaccination and testing certificates. It will be a critical element for maximising the benefit of the IATA Travel Pass and other technologies being developed to manage digital travel credentials.

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