The World Travel & Tourism Council has laid out its new guidelines for Safe & Seamless Travel in the ‘new normal’.
The guidelines will ensure that the travel sector is provided with an extensive framework to help governments and private business work in collaboration to create aligned testing and contact tracing programmes.
The initiative is part of the WTTC’s Safe and Seamless Traveller Journey (SSTJ) which aims to enable a seamless, safe and secure traveller experience.
It includes systematic biometric verified identification during the journey, for long haul and international travel, replacing manual verifications and is contained within a new WTTC report.
Measures include biometrics, faster clearance for inbound and outbound passengers and offsite processing as part of enhanced SSTJ capabilities which helps to reduce transmission.
The new guidelines were produced by extensive consultation with various stakeholders, including WTTC members, health experts and government officials, and according to WHO and CDC guidance.
The resulting principles and recommendations of the new guideline frameworks will help governments who require testing, tracing, receipt of a traveller test/vaccination certificate and COVID-19 specific traveller health insurance to include them as part of their overall recovery plan.
WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara said: “The safety and hygiene of travellers is paramount.
“The new WTTC guidelines mean that we can now replace the confusing mix of different measures including highly-damaging quarantines, which currently exist, to offer confidence to travellers and governments alike while protecting public health.
“Travel ‘bubbles’ or ‘corridors’ between low-risk Covid-19 areas/zones or countries will also help limit testing requirements for travellers and support efforts by governments and private businesses working in partnership together to stimulate traveller demand.”
WTTC guidelines are:
Support quick and reliable tests as a critical path to ensure public health and a rapid testing and contact tracing strategy to help contain the spread of the virus;
Multilateral collaboration and adherence to internationally recognised guidelines to enable ‘approved travellers’ to travel across to multiple destinations using a single process and risk assessment framework;
Support travel ‘bubbles’ or ‘tourism corridors’ between low-risk Covid-19 areas/zones or countries based on recognised criteria on what constitutes low, medium and high risk and where the origin government and the destination government agree. These bubbles and corridors may help to limit testing requirements for travellers and support the recovery;
Remove blanket travel advisories and recommendations against non-essential international travel as this prevents insurance protection for travellers, as countries re-open;
Support a global standard of traveller health insurance, or at least minimum requirements, defined with private sector insurance companies.