IATA Criticises France’s Decision to Impose Stricter Travel Rules – Urges for Harmonised Approach

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has strongly criticised the new travel rules that France has imposed against vaccinated and recovered non-EU travellers.

As a response to the current travel situation, IATA has said that the European Union governments must coordinate their response to the newly detected COVID-19 Omicron variant and impose unified rules, reports.

According to IATA, France imposing pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements is against the EU guidance, while suggesting that France should lead a common EU approach that would help to preserve connectivity.

“The latest COVID travel restrictions imposed in France are not proportionate to the risk and undermine the free movement of EU citizens. The government should work for a coordinated EU-wide response to Omicron,” IATA wrote on its official Twitter account.

The French authorities have just recently announced that in order to prevent the further spread of the newly detected Omicron variant, all third-country nationals would be required to undergo testing before reaching France.

The authorities explained that the pre-entry testing requirement applies to all non-EU nationals over the age of 12, including those who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus. Moreover, the same emphasised that only PCR tests are accepted.

Apart from imposing a pre-entry testing requirement, the French authorities have also emphasised that third-country nationals must agree to undergo further testing when they arrive in France.

Therefore, considering that France is currently keeping some of the strictest measures against vaccinated and recovered non-EU travellers, IATA has urged the French government to impose more proportionate measures and harmonise its approach with the other Member States.

Apart from criticising the measures imposed by the French authorities, IATA has also called on the EU Commission to refrain from shortening the validity of vaccination passports.

On the other hand, an EU Minister has supported the proposed changes on the validity of the EU COVID-19 Vaccination Passes, saying that this change would increase vaccination rates.

>> Proposed Changes on EU COVID Passports’ Validity Will Increase Vaccination Rates, EU Minister Says

Previously, IATA revealed that the travel bans imposed by the governments would leave the recovery of the travel and tourism sector lagging behind. According to the data published on the recovery of air travel, it has been shown that the demand for air travel in October 2019 decreased by 49.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

Additionally, the same report revealed that the international passenger demand in October was down by 65.5 per cent in October compared to the pre-pandemic period.

>> Travelling to France This Winter – Current Rules and Entry Restrictions

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