BARs call for cross-border tracking of COVID-19

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The Boards of Airline Representatives (BARs), the representatives of more than ten national airline associations are urging governments to collaborate on developing and implementing an international digital border solution for air travellers.

A harmonised, electronic solution is considerably superior to the current, mainly manual, procedures in individual countries. The first promising solutions are already in place, for example in Spain, the United Kingdom and Greece. However, what is now urgently required is a coordinating political effort to ensure a high-performance digital platform that transcends national borders and achieves a more consistent passenger experience.

“In order to meet the current challenges posed by COVID-19, cooperation between states is imperative,” explains Michael Hoppe, Secretary General BARIG. “Unfortunately, travelling public are currently still experiencing cumbersome manual and uncoordinated processes. Therefore, the international community has to develop a concerted strategy, as we cannot face this global crisis single-handedly without coordination across national borders. Localised, national procedures are highly inefficient and particularly lack transparency. A standardised, digital solution is, accordingly, the way to go.”

In addition to the urgently needed digital solution, the BARs are jointly campaigning for:

  • The joint travel impact assessment of the COVID-19 situation within the EU and globally by the respective ministries of the states and superordinate institutions, such as the European Commission, as well as coordinated action on that basis;
  • The coordinated implementation of the ‘Take-Off Guidance’ Aviation Health Safety protocol developed by ICAO, EASA and ECDC;
  • Clear and unambiguous information for passengers on possible measures, always in consultation with the travel industry.

“We strongly appeal to national governments and the EU to support the introduction of an international digital solution. Only by doing so can border restrictions be removed in the interest of both the people and companies. The scope of this issue must not be underestimated, as the reconstruction of air traffic is crucial for economic recovery in Europe and the world. From the international movement of goods, to visiting family and relatives, to business and vacation travel – air transport connects people and countries and benefits society as a whole,” says Hoppe. “Furthermore, we are committed to implementing the ‘Take-Off Guidance’ protocol to ensure health protection in aviation. In this way, the currently uncoordinated individual measures and various disproportionate travel restrictions can be eliminated.”