Restrictions on travelers from China is not based on science

Entry restrictions for travelers from China ineffective: IATA said Gov’t must based their decisions on “science facts” rather than “science politics.” 對來自中國的旅客的入境限制無效:國際航空運輸協會表示,政府必需根據“科學事實”而不是“科學政治”做出決定 Jan 05 2023

After several countries introduced COVID-19 testing requirements and other measures for travelers from China, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the measures have proven ineffective and it urged governments to base their decisions on “science facts” rather than “science politics.”

“Several countries are introducing COVID-19 testing and other measures for travelers from China, even though the virus is already circulating widely within their borders. It is extremely disappointing to see this knee-jerk reinstatement of measures that have proven ineffective over the last three years,” said IATA in a statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, citing Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.

The remarks came as a small number of countries and regions imposed travel restrictions on arrivals from China, comparing that most countries around the world have welcomed China’s move to open up to travelers from all over the globe and encouraged Chinese citizens to travel abroad, after the country’s COVID-19 battle entered a new stage.

Research undertaken around the arrival of the Omicron variant concluded that putting barriers in the way of travel made no difference to the peak spread of infections. At most, restrictions delayed that peak by a few days. If a new variant emerges in any part of the world, the same situation would be expected, the statement said.

That’s why governments should listen to the advice of experts, including the WHO, that advise against travel restrictions. We have the tools to manage COVID-19 without resorting to ineffective measures that cut off international connectivity, damage economies and destroy jobs. Governments must base their decisions on “science facts” rather than “science politics”, said the statement.

The IATA is a large international organization composed of airlines from all over the world. It has about 300 member airlines around the world, and its scheduled international passenger traffic accounts for about 83 percent of the world.

Mao Ning, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday that since China released the provisional measures, many countries have responded warmly to them. “We appreciate this and will continue to adapt and adjust our COVID response measures in light of the latest COVID situation, better facilitate the safe and orderly cross-border travel of Chinese and foreign nationals and international exchange and cooperation,” she said.

“Meanwhile, we do not believe the entry restriction measures some countries have taken against China are science-based. Some of these measures are disproportionate and simply unacceptable. We firmly reject using COVID measures for political purposes and will take corresponding measures in response to varying situations based on the principle of reciprocity,” Mao said.

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