IATA warns countries vs barring travelers from China | Inquirer Business

IATA warns countries vs barring travelers from China

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) cautioned nations against immediately imposing strict restrictions on travelers from China—which is currently experiencing a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases—as it could lead to repeat of a major economic downturn.

In a recent statement, the global group of airlines observed that several countries had implemented COVID-19 testing and other measures anew for individuals coming from China “even though the virus is already circulating widely within their borders.”

IATA said it was “extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years.”


The association told governments to follow the advice of experts instead when it comes to imposing travel restrictions.


“We have the tools to manage COVID-19 without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs,” IATA said.

“Governments must base their decisions on ‘science facts’ rather than ‘science politics,’” it added.

In the Philippines, the Department of Transportation recently recommended the tightening of travel restrictions for individuals coming from China.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier suggested that travelers be required to take COVID-19 test as a safety measure. But the guidelines are yet to be finalized by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“I think we should be very cautious,” he said.

The Department of Health, in response, recently said it was “not yet time” to restrict arrivals from China, noting that a surveillance and monitoring system is in place to avoid the spread of the virus.


Philippine Airlines is set to resume regular flights for the Manila-Xiamen route starting Jan. 13.

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TAGS: China, IATA, travelers

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