Published on : Thursday, October 15, 2020
Airlines branded EU efforts for ending conflicting Covid-19 travel restrictions as failure. It’s a disappointment that put millions of jobs in the bloc in jeopardy.
The Council of Ministers were expected to implement the traffic light system, specifying regions as green, orange and red according to their level of risk, and thereby end a perplexing patchwork of travel rules across the block.
However, aviation bodies backed by Ryanair, Aer Lingus and State airports company DAA, branded their efforts “a failure” after the deal failed recommending that testing substitute quarantines while allowing member states to refuse entry of travelers.
Airports Council International – Europe (ACI), Airlines for Europe (A4E), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), trade unions and other organizations asked the EU Commission to bring in a common testing rule to get rid of quarantine requirements and other restrictions.
“The current lack of co-ordination between member states has killed the nascent recovery of travel and tourism, thus jeopardizing millions of jobs associated with the sector,” they said.
These organizations wanted member states to allow travelers from green and orange regions to move freely, while those from red areas to produce test results confirming that they do not have Covid-19 before traveling.
“These shortcomings are a political failure,” said a statement from ACI, A4E and the IATA.
“The inability of the Council to go beyond shallow co-ordination and establish a truly harmonized and workable framework is now beyond any doubt,” the statement said further.
Based on European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) figures, regions will be branded as green if the 14-day infection rate is below 25 out of 100,000 people, while 4 per cent of those tested show positive results.
Regions will be branded as orange if infections are lower than 50/100,000 and the test rate is higher than 4 per cent, or if infections are between 10 and 150 for every 100,000, but the test rate is lower than 4 per cent.
Regions will be marked red where the infection rate is higher than 50/100,000 and the test rate is higher than 4 per cent, or if the infection rate is higher than 150 for every 100,000.
Currently, only some regions in the Nordic states, the Baltic, parts of Greece, Bulgaria and Italy fit the green criteria.