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Quarantine remains biggest deterrent to air travel


A survey commissioned by IATA of 4,700 people in 11 markets in September shows confidence that the risks of COVID-19 can be effectively managed and that the freedom to travel should be restored.

  • 67% of respondents felt that most country borders should be opened now, up 12 percentage-points from the June 2021 survey;

  • 64% of respondents felt that border closures are unnecessary and have not been effective in containing the virus (up 11 percentage points from June 2021); and

  • 73% responded that their quality of life is suffering as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions (up 6 percentage points from June 2021).

“People are increasingly frustrated with the COVID-19 travel restrictions and even more have seen their quality of life suffer as a result,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “They don’t see the necessity of travel restrictions to control the virus. And they have missed too many family moments, personal development opportunities and business priorities. In short, they miss the freedom of flying and want it restored. The message they are sending to governments is: COVID-19 is not going to disappear, so we must establish a way to manage its risks while living and traveling normally.”

The biggest deterrent to air travel continues to be quarantine measures. 84% of respondents indicated that they will not travel if there is a chance of quarantine at their destination. A growing proportion of respondents support the removal of quarantine if:

  • A person has tested negative for COVID-19 (73% in September compared to 67% in June).

  • A person has been vaccinated (71% in September compared to 68% in June).

With the vaccination rates globally increasing, 80% of respondents agree that vaccinated people should be able to travel freely by air. However, there were strong views against making vaccination a condition for air travel. About two-thirds felt it is morally wrong to restrict travel only to those who have been vaccinated and over 80% of respondents believe that testing before air travel should be an alternative for people without access to vaccination.

While 85% are willing to be tested if required in the travel process, several issues remain:

  • 75% of respondents indicated that the cost of testing is a significant barrier to travel;

  • 80% believe that governments should bear the cost of testing; and

  • 77% see the inconvenience of testing as a barrier to travel.

“There is a message here for governments,” said Walsh. “People are willing to be tested to travel. But they don’t like the cost or the inconvenience. Both can be addressed by governments. The reliability of rapid antigen tests is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Broader acceptance of antigen testing by governments would reduce inconvenience and cost—costs that the WHO’s International Health Regulations stipulate should be borne by governments. It is also clear that while people accept testing and other measures such as mask-wearing as necessary, they want to return to more normal ways of travel when it is safe to do so.”

Among those who have traveled since June 2020, 86% felt safe on board the flight owing to the COVID-19 measures.

  • 87% believed protective measures are well implemented; and

  • 88% felt airline personnel are doing a good job in enforcing COVID-19 rules.

There is also strong support for wearing masks, with 87% of respondents agreeing that doing so will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With more markets starting to open to travel, an area that needs to be addressed is the COVID-related travel rules and requirements.

  • 73% of those who have traveled since June 2020 found it challenging to understand what rules applied for a trip (up from 70% in June);

  • 73% felt the COVID-19 paperwork was challenging to arrange (also up from 70% in June).

“People want to travel,” Walsh said. “86% expect to be traveling within six months of the crisis ending. With COVID-19 becoming endemic, vaccines being widely available and therapeutics improving rapidly, we are quickly approaching that point in time. People also tell us that they are confident to travel. But what those who have traveled are telling us is that the rules are too complex and the paperwork too onerous. To secure the recovery governments need to simplify processes, restore the freedom to travel and adopt digital solutions to issue and manage travel health credentials.”

© Travel News Asia

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I am not returning to Japan until the requirement to quarantine in a government detention centre is lifted. And before you all start telling me I’m wrong, those travelling from the UK have to be detained on arrival for three days before being released to finish quarantining at home.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I am not returning to Japan until the requirement to quarantine in a government detention centre is lifted

You are quarantined in a hotel, not a government detention center. Still 2 weeks in a small room with bad food. But obviously much safer than a government detention center (we know what happens to people at those).

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Enough is enough, the world is waking up but the land of the rising sun is still half asleep

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@Luddite - Where were you vaccinated? If it was here then you no longer require the 3 days in an awful hotel.

You can also test out at 10 days at your own expense.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

In fact- update as of yesterday. UK vaccine proof accepted as of yesterday if that is the case (12th october)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

and sorry to post again @Luddite- But this clears things up for you:



0 ( +3 / -3 )

You don't catch Covid from foreigners or by being abroad. You catch it according to your behaviour around others. You certainly won't catch it from people who haven't got it, and airlines generally require negative tests before people fly. So quarantine is pointless, and a political imposition, not a medical one. Nations that want to block tourism will maintain quarantine. Nations that want to restart tourism will dispense with it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The quarantine has zero to do with covid at this point.

It is all politics related to the Japanese historical and bizarre clumsiness in dealing with foreign things. The parallels with pre-Black ship history are striking - Japanese nationals who go overseas are seen as unbelievably tainted and well foreigners... just plain dirty disease carriers.

That being said, it is their country and they can run it like this as they see fit. I think most locals with no overseas connections are pretty happy with these walls.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I agree zichi - no need.. I'm assuming that Luddite is either a PR or has a Spousal Visa with a valid re entry and she is vaccinated in the UK. In which case no 3 day hotel quarantine is necessary. On that basis - no 3 days in a Hotel plus the option to test out at Day 10.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What a strange thread. Luddite IS wrong if what zichi says about her status in Japan is.

She can return now to Japan and with a UK vaccination certificate can quarantine at an address of her choice for 14 days (10 days if she pays for a test and release) and does not need to stay the first three days in a Quarantine Hotel. The correct links have been posted in the thread and I can confirm they are up to date.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hurrah, no luddite! Suits us here in Japan!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You don't catch Covid from foreigners or by being abroad. You catch it according to your behaviour around others.

That has become kind of the moralistic view on viral infection, which believes that getting infected by a virus is because you didn't do enough, or you didn't "followed the rules" or whatever you believe is "bad behavior".

Sadly virus doesn't really care about that, and blaming people who get infected by a virus with a very high R0 number is just going back to medieval times when people believed that diseases were demons getting inside of sinners because of their sins.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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