The Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG), the association of international and German airlines operating in Germany, supports the demands of numerous international associations and companies for an immediate termination of the current blanket quarantine regulations in air traffic. In this respect, BARIG refers to the most recent research results of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), among others, both of which are agencies of the European Union. In their latest guidelines on COVID-19 testing and quarantine regulations for air passengers, ECDC and EASA consider the countries’ quarantine regulations to be ineffective and inappropriate within the current epidemiological situation. Instead, both agencies explicitly confirm that air passengers account for less than 1 percent of COVID-19 cases worldwide, indicating that they do not constitute a contributory factor to increased infection rates. Accordingly, quarantine measures for incoming passengers are only appropriate in rare cases.
Michael Hoppe, BARIG Secretary General: “With the ongoing pandemic we are in a very exceptional situation. Now it is imperative to stay on top of things and to consult independent experts such as the specialists from ECDC and EASA, incorporate their insights and also implement their recommendations promptly and effectively. The current general quarantine regulations in air traffic are mere political actionism, not useful in managing the pandemic. The blanket quarantine regulations must, therefore, be eliminated with immediate effect.”
The BARIG Secretary General calls for appropriate, joint action by the governments of the EU countries, the European Economic Area, and the United Kingdom. Instead of generalized, precautionary blanket quarantine regulations in combination with broad and rigorous travel restrictions, BARIG is proposing the establishment of safe travel corridors, for example between Germany and North America, as well as enhanced rapid test procedures at airports. Targeted proposals and encouraging first experiences have already been made for both of those measures; likewise, the necessary and important test infrastructure is still in place at many airports.