The International Air Transport Association "IATA" has issued 7 standards for "Corona" tests on travelers, which allow governments to choose to apply Corona virus tests to travelers coming from high-risk areas, where these tests must be rapid and high-accuracy for large numbers of travelers, In addition to being financially efficient, it does not constitute an economic or logistical burden for travel.
The ICAO Board of Directors approved the “take off” plan: “Air Travel Guidelines during the Global Health Corona Crisis” on June 1, 2020, which proposes a phased approach to re-launch the aviation sector, setting out a set of risk-based measures that are generally applicable. , Which is in line with recommendations and directives from the public health authorities, which reduces the risk of coronavirus transmission during the travel process.
It is possible to take advantage of modern technologies to work within the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) model, which ensures the protection of passengers traveling towards high-risk countries, and dispensing with cumbersome and interlocking measures such as quarantine, which is a major barrier to travel and the return of demand for air travel.
In this regard, said Alexander de Juniac, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association: "Airlines are obligated to reduce the risks of transmission of the Coronavirus through air travel through their application of safety and examination standards, but it must comply with the plan put forward by" ICAO "to facilitate Travel procedures, and speed, volume and accuracy standards during checks are a key factor for achieving high efficiency in travel procedures.
These checks must be performed by public health officials and according to the following criteria:
1- Speed, test results must be delivered quickly with results available in less than an hour, as a standard minimum.
2- Volume, in the case of testing at the airport, the test capacity of several hundred tests per hour must be achievable. Where a sample of saliva should be taken in place of nose or throat swabs, which would facilitate the operations and reduce the expected results and more comfortable for travelers.
3- Accuracy, it must be very high and necessary, and the negative and positive results should be less than 1%.
4- To achieve perfect results from virus tests, they must be done 24 hours before travel, as this procedure contributes to reducing the risk of virus transmission at the airport and allows dealing with cases carrying the virus early. And if the checks are among the necessary travel procedures, it is preferable to take them before boarding the plane, and the governments should mutual recognition of the results of the tests, and these data must be shared directly between passengers and countries in a similar way to deal with e-visa permits currently. The conditions for examinations should only be when they are needed, to ensure that regular assessments are conducted effectively.
5- The costs of carrying out these checks must be taken into consideration, but also their operations should be simplified and fast and not constitute an additional financial burden on the passengers, as the costs of examination for some European destinations amount to more than $ 200, which is a great barrier for travelers, as it supports " IATA "The International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO) that require countries to bear the costs of mandatory health tests when the test is offered on a voluntary basis, and must be calculated at cost.
6- Procedures in the event that the results of the examination
are positive, the optimal test is taken before traveling or at the point of departure, and in the event that the result is positive, the traveler is prevented from traveling, and airlines must provide flexibility for this type of traveler by returning the price of the ticket or postponing the travel date, including It is in line with the commercial policy of the company, as airlines currently provide this level of flexibility to travelers suspected of carrying the virus or showing symptoms, especially accompanying passengers or contacts.
7- If the test is required upon arrival and the result of the passenger is positive, then all passengers must be treated according to the measures of the receiving country. Airlines shall not be required to return the passenger (passengers) or the punishment "through financial fines or operational penalties such as withdrawing the right to work in the market.