Airlines are forecasting a 55% decline in 2020 air traffic, according to IATA, which reported 85% of surveyed travelers expressed concerns about quarantine.
“We don’t support across-the-board mandatory testing,” IATA medical adviser Dr. David Powell told Reuters. “But if there are situations where there is a higher risk in the country of origin and it can avoid the need for quarantine, then we certainly support that and advocate for that concept.”
The proposal calls for the use of PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) tests conducted outside of airports.
The task force did not raise testing as an alternative to quarantines in May when it recommended a uniform approach toward reviving flights, but it could do so after Tuesday’s meeting.
The International Civil Aviation Organization was not immediately available to comment.
Powell said the 48-hour period recommended by IATA and ACI was up for discussion and said it could make sense for some travelers to take a second test upon arrival at their destination.
While task force recommendations are voluntary, ICAO guidelines are typically adopted by its 193-member countries.
Requiring testing raises cost issues for travelers, given airlines are unlikely to bear the approximate $200 expense. The sector faces up to $314 billion in lost revenue in 2020, according to ICAO forecasts.
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