Following the British government’s release of its plan to restart international travel, the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) is calling on the federal government here to follow suit.
Beginning May 17, Britain will allow travel to and from a select list of countries, and travellers from those destinations will not need to quarantine upon entering England.
The move is part of the British government’s overall restart plan that was unveiled in April and which will use a grading system to categorize foreign countries and determine what testing and quarantine obligations will apply, based on the status of the virus in each country. The initial list of countries will expand over time as the public health situation improves.
Mike McNaney, president and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), said that: “In the midst of the pandemic in February, the British government recognized the critical need to plan for the eventual safe re-opening of international travel, and began working with its aviation sector to develop a restart process.”
And McNaney continued: “On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have lost their jobs in the aviation and travel sector, and the scores of communities that have lost service, it is critical that the federal government now follow the UK example and work immediately with industry to develop a restart plan”
For months now, the Canadian aviation sector has been calling on the federal government to develop a safe restart strategy that outlines the metrics that must be met to begin addressing border and travel restrictions.
That strategy should utilize a science-based approach that sets out how Canada will deal with:
- Vaccinated and non-vaccinated passengers
- How quarantine and testing measures will be adjusted
- How we will ensure appropriate electronic capture of health data to facilitate international travel
Said McNaney: “The UK plan provides metrics, clarity on process, and underscores that the government retains complete authority on timing and implementation, including the ability to reinstate restrictive measures. As the pace of vaccination increases across the country, there is no reason why Canada cannot develop a restart plan of its own that will allow the industry to start planning its recovery.”
And NACC’s boss made it clear that: “Countries that establish a clear recovery strategy for their aviation sectors will not only ensure the safe restart of travel and their overall economy, they will take market share, investment and jobs from countries that do not. Canada must get moving.”
Go to www.airlinecouncil.ca for more.