ACI-LAC urges governments to replace quarantine requirements with testing and contact tracing protocols
Airports Council International Latin America and the Caribbean (ACI-LAC) is urging governments to replace quarantine requirements with testing and contact tracing protocols to ensure the sectorâ€™s survival amid a worsening situation for airports in Latin America and the Caribbean. The latest preliminary forecast figures show that the region will lose 61% passenger volume by the end of 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the RegionÂ´s airports were set to host approximately 700 million passengers in 2020. The full year estimate amounts to 271 million passengers, a reduction of around 430 million passengers, compared to the pre-COVID-19, business-as-usual scenario. Airport revenues, a direct reflection of traffic, are forecasted to decline by approximately US.5 billion in the Latin America and Caribbean region by the end of 2020. The airport sector has implemented a raft of precautionary health and hygiene measures in anticipation of the restart of the sector, like the Airport Health Accreditation programme that provides airports with an assessment of how aligned their health measures are with the International Civil Aviation OrganizationÂ´s recommendations along with industry best practices. Current government travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are severely hampering the restart and contributing to the worsening economic situation. ACI-LAC urges governments to no longer delay relaxing international travel restrictions by replacing quarantine requirements with testing and contact tracing protocols, at least between low-risk countries where the virus situation is well under control and the risk of importation is low. According to Dr. Rafael Echevarne, Director General ACI-LAC â€œGovernments should relax current travel restrictions and consider alternative safeguarding measures to ensure the survival of the aviation sector based on a periodically updated risk assessment. The recent announcement from the Government of Ecuador replacing the 14-day quarantine with COVID-19 testing for all inbound passengers is a first step in the right direction to support the economic recovery of the aviation ecosystem.