October 23, 2021

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Poll reveals quarantine, COVID-19 tests, greatly hinder air travel- IATA

3 min read

Mr William Matthew Walsh, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, DG/CEO, IATA

A survey commissioned by the International Air Transport Association, IATA, has revealed the apathy of travellers to the numerous and diverse COVID-19 protocols put in place by various sovereign states at their airports.

The findings of the survey as released by IATA, indicated that opinions of a total of 4,700 respondents in 11 markets were collated and analysed in September.

The majority of those polled professed confidence in air travel but were wary of tests, quarantine, yet believed the risks of COVID-19 could be effectively managed and that the freedom to travel should be restored.

86% of travellers expected to resume travelling within six months of the crisis ending. And William Matthew Walsh, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, DG/CEO, IATA, enthused that “with COVID-19 becoming endemic, vaccines being widely available and therapeutics improving rapidly, we are quickly approaching the period of unbridled travel”.

67% of respondents believed that most countries’ borders should be opened now. Those with this belief increased by 12 percentage points as against the June 2021 survey.

64% of respondents felt that border closures are unnecessary and have not been effective in containing the virus. Those with this view increased by 11 percentage points from the June 2021 poll.

73% of those polled believed that their quality of life had been hampered as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Those with this notion increased by 6 percentage points as against those who held a similar notion in June 2021.

84% of respondents indicated that they will not travel if there is a chance of quarantine at their destination. Quarantine has obviously emerged as the biggest obstacle to air travel.

73% of respondents throw their support for the removal of quarantine but with a proviso that such travellers must have tested negative to COVID-19. In June 67% of respondents expressed similar views. An increase of 6%.

71% of those polled in September demanded the removal of quarantine when a person has been vaccinated. While in June only 68% of respondents held that notion.

80% of respondents agree that vaccinated people should be able to travel freely by air.
80% + of respondents believed that testing before air travel should be an alternative for people without access to vaccination.

75% of respondents said that the cost of testing is a significant barrier to travel.
80% of people polled believed that governments should bear the cost of testing.

77% of respondents held the opinion that the inconvenience of testing as a barrier to travel
86% of respondents (among those who have travelled since June 2020) said due to the COVID-19 measures, they felt safe on board the flight

87% felt satisfied with the protective measures as they were well implemented.

88% felt airlines personnel are doing a great job in enforcing COVID-19 rules.

87% of respondents agreed that wearing masks and that doing so steadfastly will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

73% of those polled who had travelled since June 2020, found it challenging to understand what rules applied for a trip. This number experienced an increase of 3% against 70% in June 2021.

73% of travellers polled felt the COVID-19 paperwork was challenging to arrange. Those with this notion increased by 3% as against 70% recorded in June.

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