September 25 2020  |  Associations

APTRA launches bid for aligned airport testing and quarantine rules

By Mary Jane Pittilla

“Alignment on quarantine and testing imperatives is a critical factor in facilitating the recovery of the travel retail industry” - APTRA President Sunil Tuli

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) has launched a campaign to over 45 individual governments across Asia Pacific with a proposal for regional alignment on quarantine rules and testing on arrival and departure at airports.

APTRA believes one of the biggest obstacles to industry recovery from the pandemic crisis is the fragmented inconsistency in rules related to quarantine and COVID-19 testing at airports.

“Alignment on quarantine and testing imperatives is a critical factor in facilitating the recovery of the travel retail industry,” said APTRA President Sunil Tuli.

“Aviation, tourism and hospitality are highly interdependent sectors with millions of livelihoods stuck in jeopardy until governments prioritize a regionally aligned strategy on quarantine and COVID-19 testing for travelers. Of course APTRA supports the prioritization of national health and safety, yet it is frustrating that there is no joined-up approach between governments that would enable the reopening of aviation to safeguard millions of jobs.”

APTRA believes there are efficient and robust rapid tests for COVID-19 that could be implemented at international borders, enabling a more reasonable approach to reduced quarantine timescales of perhaps 24 hours in the case of a negative result.

The Italian government is operating tests on arrival and trialing them on departure at Rome Fiumicino Airport.

Several airports in Asia Pacific are running efficient testing, e.g. Changi, Delhi, Hong Kong and Seoul Incheon.

The Asia Pacific market is integral to the global travel economy, and industry players across the travel and tourism sectors are rallying to ensure industry survival.

Duty free and travel retail in Asia Pacific creates over 320,000 jobs and the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates 63.4 million jobs in tourism are at risk across the region.

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