Aviation industry won’t survive if quarantine rules persist – report

The National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF) has said the industry will not recover if travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines persist for much longer.

Representatives of the Irish aviation industry, which accounted for some 140,000 jobs before Covid-19 struck, have called on government ministers to replace mandatory quarantining requirements with a system of antigen testing and vaccination certificates that would help to revive the flagging travel and tourism sectors.

Opposing the idea that vaccination would be required for travel, the group advise that fully vaccinated travellers could be exempt from quarantining or testing.

The NCADF report calls for “transparent and objective” criteria to be applied to any prolonged quarantine requirements, insisting all measures should be “proportionate” in light of many countries’ falling hospitalization numbers and increasing vaccination rates.

“A key deliverable is therefore for Government to identify and confirm the metrics that will enable the removal of this ban and the restoration of international travel for those markets which meet the specified metrics,” the study claims.

“Measures of this nature (mandatory hotel quarantines) go far beyond those imposed by other EU Member States and would be contrary to the principles set out in the EU Traffic Light System.”

The NCADF say people arriving from countries on the green list of the EU Traffic System should not have to be tested or be quarantined.

The group suggests that those coming from red-listed countries should do a pre-departure test and quarantine for 14 days, with a negative test after five days lifting their restrictions, whilst those arrivals from orange-listed countries should only undergo a pre-departure test to be allowed immediate movement throughout Ireland.

The NCADF also claims that there is “no public health rationale for restrictions in travel between Ireland and the UK”, and that diplomatic efforts should be made to lift restrictions on Irish passengers going to the US in exchange for an exemption to travellers from there being subject to mandatory hotel quarantines on arrival in Ireland.

“If the Government adopts the above recommendations, Ireland’s connectivity can begin to be restored by June,” the report states.

“It is imperative that the Government acts now, and without any further delay. A failure to do so will irreversibly damage Ireland’s world-leading aviation sector which is so important to the country.

“For the industry to be able to meaningfully contribute to the economic recovery in 2021 and minimise the permanent damage of a partially closed economy, restoration of Ireland’s international connectivity needs to happen this summer.”

The NCADF, which also voiced its support for the EU’s “Green Digital Certificate” , counts Ryanair, Aer Lingus, IBEC and the Irish Aviation Authority among several other members of the organization.

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