November 5 2020  |  Associations

APTRA COVID-19 testing advocacy campaign gains traction

By Laura Shirk

Sunil Tuli, President of APTRA, is helping to lead the promotion and execution of its campaign, which urges officials to implement standardized COVID-19 testing at airports on arriving and departing passengers

Less than a month since its launch, 10 governments across Asia Pacific have responded positively to APTRA’s latest advocacy campaign, which urges officials to implement standardized COVID-19 testing on passengers. To date, the responses received are from the following governments: Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand. More responses are expected from the 45 governments targeted.

Across the aviation, travel and tourism industries, a wide range of stakeholders are increasingly aligned in calling for increased testing as a key recovery strategy – one that would ultimately equip governments to re-open borders safely and could immediately reduce the onerous quarantine measures that are negatively impacting consumer appetite for travel.

“This campaign has definitely created the most positive response to date in 2020, from governments across the region. We are confident we have hit the right buttons, engaging several important ministers to formally recognize the issues facing the travel retail industry. Advocacy takes considerable effort behind the scenes and the results do take time. However, we have received personal responses from several senior officials and this recognition of APTRA, as a significant trade association, is a positive step toward the outcome our industry needs. APTRA will continue to engage with governments and, where possible, we will join forces with larger organizations in aviation such as IATA and ACI. This is an example of APTRA’s power in presenting a collective industry voice – one that represents all types and sizes of businesses in travel retail,” comments Sunil Tuli, President, APTRA.

APTRA welcomes the news that the governments of Singapore and Hong Kong are close to an agreement to open an air travel bubble between the countries, expected to be operational in November 2020. From November 6, visitors from mainland China can enter Singapore without having to quarantine – subject to having a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival at the airport. If the result is negative, visitors will be allowed to travel freely within Singapore’s borders.

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