It has been more than six months since the World Health Organization confirmed coronavirus as a pandemic, leading to a disastrous year for the air industry.
While many governments have tried to develop their own ways to make international travel safer, with passengers required to quarantine or show proof of a negative test on arrival, there has so far been no universal solution and rules vary by country.
Now, the body representing the aviation industry across the world has called for rapid testing to encourage people to start flying again.
“The key to restoring the freedom of mobility across borders is systematic Covid-19 testing of all travellers before departure,” the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This will give governments the confidence to open their borders without complicated risk models that see constant changes in the rules imposed on travel.”
Current testing takes several hours or days in a laboratory, but the IATA wants governments to develop and adopt quicker antigen tests, which could give results in around 15 minutes.