IATA chief says COVID-19 test data support easing of travel curbs

Global airline body IATA stepped up its pressure on governments to ease travel restrictions on Wednesday, pointing to UK testing data that showed low incidence of COVID-19 in arriving passengers.

“These data tell us we can do better,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said, citing a 2.2% positive rate among 365,895 tests carried out in February-May, according to Britain’s National Health Service.

“Universal restrictions on people are no longer needed,” Walsh added.

Excluding passengers arriving from countries on Britain’s higher-risk red list, the positive rate fell to 1.46%, according to the data cited by the International Air Transport Association.

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