Statement On The End Of COVID As An International Public Health Emergency - ISS Relocations

In the Wake of the End of COVID as an International Public Health Emergency, Iata Released the Statement

In the wake of the end of COVID as an international public health emergency, IATA released the following statement:

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) responded to a statement from the Director General of the World Health Organization at the conclusion of the 15th meeting of the International Health Regulations, in which he declared COVID was no longer a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

Conrad Clifford, Deputy Director-General of IATA, said:

It is good news that the WHO has formally recognized COVID as no longer an international health emergency. It is evident that the world is doing its best to return to normal following recent decisions, such as the Chinese and US governments relaxing the last remaining COVID travel restrictions. The pandemic has been a terrible disaster, and we must never forget it. As much as it was a tragedy for those who lost loved ones, it was also an economic and social catastrophe of a magnitude and consequence yet to be fully understood. Therefore, we must learn from this pandemic to be better prepared to manage future health emergencies with less destruction to lives and livelihoods.

From a travel perspective, we know that the lack of scientific basis, consistency or clear communication of government restrictions had little impact on the spread of the virus. However, it exacerbated the misery caused to millions of people who could no longer visit their families or pursue their business. As a result, millions of jobs were at risk, and global air connectivity was set back by years. The lessons from COVID should therefore be heeded by governments – what worked, and what didn’t. During the next global public health emergency, decisions should be based on science, risk-assessed, and well communicated.

Similarly, governments should make every effort to maintain global air connectivity and supply chains and to designate aviation personnel as key workers instead of being subjected to harsh quarantine restrictions, acknowledging that aviation has played a vital role in ensuring the movement of vaccines, medicines, equipment and medical professionals.

In order to improve preparedness, governments and industry need to work together more effectively, as well as the aviation and health sectors. Working with global partners, such as WHO and ICAO, IATA is committed to implementing the latest best practices and guidelines, and ensuring a more resilient and successful approach to managing and safeguarding public health in the future.”

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