This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is urging governments to use an individual risk-based approach to managing the pandemic rather than implementing country-to-country travel bans. The call came in response to events surrounding the discovery of the Omicron COVID variant that have already included some travel bans.
EBAA stressed that it supports the European Commission’s proposal to update rules surrounding free movement within the European Union, using a person-based approach. “The business aviation community is concerned about the recent uncoordinated wave of travel bans following the appearance of the new B.1.1.529 variant of Covid-19,” EBAA said. “Those concerns are also shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its recommendation to countries to keep applying a risk-based and scientific approach when implementing travel measures.”
The WHO has urged governments to avoid travel bans, cautioning that while they may have a slight role in reducing the spread of the virus, they impose a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods, EBAA noted. The association added that it “calls on countries to follow science and international health regulations. A coordinated science-based approach—avoiding border closures [which would have] disastrous socio-economic consequences for communities in Europe and beyond—is the only long-term solution to control COVID variants.”