News: WTTC welcomes move toward airport Covid-19 testing

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has said millions of jobs could be saved by the roll-out of widespread testing for Covid-19 at European airports.

Heathrow launched a trial scheme earlier this week, while Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris have announced similar measures.

Fiumicino Airport in Rome and Milan Linate are also believed to be considering the implementation of a testing regime.

The moves were welcomed by WTTC president, Gloria Guevara, who said: “It is very encouraging to see the door beginning to open to allow airport testing on departure.

“We have been calling for a rapid and cost-effective testing on departure regime at airports around the world for several months now, so this is a step in the right direction.”

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Latest WTTC research shows the positive effect airport testing will have to revive international air travel, bring back jobs and resuscitate the global economy.

Almost 20 million jobs across Europe could be saved, including three million in Germany, 1.9 million in the UK, 1.9 million in Italy and more than 1.5 million in France.

“We hope this will inspire other countries to follow their lead and implement similar initiatives,” added Guevara.

“However, to save the global tourism sector, we need a standardised international testing protocol.

“Full cooperation and coordination are crucial to restore seamless travel and remove ineffective and costly quarantines.

“Removing or significantly reducing quarantine times, already introduced by some countries, could restore vital international business travel, first on short-haul flights and then between important financial hubs, such as Frankfurt, London and New York and other key transatlantic services.

“With the commercial aviation sector hanging in the balance, it is more important than ever that we explore every practical avenue to speed up airport testing through targeted pilots.”

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