People travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic should not automatically be considered as high-risk for spreading infection, new European guidelines for air travel have said.
They should rather be treated in the same way as members of the local population who have not had any direct contact to a person infected with Covid-19, added The Guidelines for Covid-19 Testing and Quarantine of Air Travellers.
These were published jointly by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the request of the European Commission.
“Travellers should not be considered as a high-risk population, nor treated as contacts of COVID-19 cases, unless they have been in known contact with a confirmed positive case,” the guidelines said.
“Travellers should be treated in the same way as local residents and be subject to the same regulations or recommendations as applied to the local population,” the guidelines added.
Based on the latest scientific evidence and information, the document’s conclusions reflect the fact that the prevalence of the new coronavirus among travellers is estimated to be lower than is the case for the general population.
In addition, the measures in place in aviation minimise the possibility of transmission during the air travel process.
“This new document is a true European contribution for the benefits of European citizens,” said Patrick Ky, Executive Director at EASA.
“Its findings can be important in making many family reunions over Christmas possible. It builds on the measures we already put in place with the Aviation Health Safety Protocol and reinforces the view that there is no inherent risk in air travel – indeed air travellers are seen as a relatively “COVID-safe” population,” he added.
EASA then encouraged national decision-makers to take account of the recommendations given when making their policies.