Free movement around Europe is being compromised by the failure of some EU member states to harmonise their Covid-19 entry requirements, holding back the travel industry’s recovery, IATA has warned.

The airline association’s research finds that 30% of states using the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate do not accept rapid testing, while 19% do not exempt children from testing, and 41% do not allow vaccinated travellers from non-EU ‘white list’ countries to enter.

Additionally, 11% of countries only accept paper versions of passenger locator forms, while a similar proportion have no locator forms at all.

“It’s essential that European states come together on Covid-19 travel procedures,” states IATA’s regional vice-president for Europe, Rafael Schvartzman. “The good work done by the Commission and the states to develop the DCC is being wasted by a mess of unharmonised regulations.”

IATA Rafael Schvartzman, Wings of Change

Source: IATA

Schvartzman believes people expect a united approach to managing travel

He adds: “How can passengers travel with confidence when the rules are so different in each country within the European Union? They can’t be sure if their children need to be tested or not, or if they need to fill in a form on paper, online, or not at all. It’s one Europe Union. People reasonably expect a united approach to managing travel.”

IATA is urging all countries to accept rapid testing instead of PCR versions, exempt children from testing, and allow passengers from low-risk countries to enter Europe.

“The experience over the European summer shows that a standard digital certificate is not enough: the travel processes around Covid-19 must also be harmonised and smoothed out,” argues Schvartzman. “We urge European states to sort out the current mess and give hard-pressed passengers greater certainty over their travel plans.”