G20 leaders to consider international plan for airport coronavirus testing

The WTTC’s 12-point plan includes an agreed “traffic light” system of reporting Covid-19 rates, with “green list” countries potentially set below 25 cases per 100,000 of the population, from which a negative test result taken before departure would allow the traveller to avoid quarantine.

For “red list” countries, probably set at around 50 cases per 100,000, the WTTC proposed an Icelandic-style model under which travellers could arrive with a recognised Covid-19 test result to prove they were negative and then take a follow-up test after up to five days in quarantine.

A WTTC analysis of Public Health England data suggested two tests in quick succession could be 80 per cent effective in identifying passengers with Covid-19, and therefore reduce the quarantine period from 14 to either four to six days or no quarantine at all. 

In addition, information from medical experts from Stanford and Harvard School of Public Health validated that testing on departure, combined with wearing a face mask and implementing the protocols, could significantly reduce the risk.

The plan would also see trials of “air corridors” on key trade routes such as New York to London, Frankfurt to Washington and Dubai to Hong Kong.

Each government is also being urged to guarantee protection and cash aid for travellers if there is a repeat of the need to repatriate people as there was when flights were grounded at the start of the pandemic.

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