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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments in Africa and the Middle East (AME) to implement testing as an alternative to quarantine measures when reopening their economies, it recently reported in the press release below on their website. Thirty-five countries in Africa and the Middle East have government-imposed quarantine measures. This is an increase of seven countries since August. The impact is that the region effectively remains in lockdown, despite the borders being open. Recent public opinion research showed that 88% of travelers would not even consider traveling if travelers were given quarantine measures at their destination.

Mandatory quarantine measures prevent people from traveling. We understand that the priority of governments is to protect the well-being of their citizens. Quarantine destroys livelihoods. Testing is an alternative method that will also save travel and tourism jobs, 'said Muhammad Albakri, IATA's Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

Travelers are behind the testing. The latest IATA survey on passenger attitudes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shows that 72% of those surveyed agreed that those who test negative for COVID should not be quarantined, and that 80% of people feel that COVID-19 is sufficiently controlled in the country to open borders. Quarantines, closed borders and travel restrictions continue to decimate the demand for travel in Africa and the Middle East. Traffic levels in Africa and the Middle East saw the largest decline of all regions in July compared to 2019. Total passenger traffic in Africa was 2020% below 93,7 levels in July 2019 and 95,5 in the Middle East % below 2019 level.

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Aviation supported more than 6,2 million jobs and $ 56 billion in GDP in Africa and 2,4 million jobs and $ 130 billion in GDP in the Middle East before COVID-19. The economic impact of the 2020 air traffic collapse as a result of COVID-19 would be 3,5 million jobs lost and $ 35 billion in GDP in Africa and 1,5 million jobs lost and $ 85 billion in GDP in the Central Region. East can be.

"Testing offers a safe alternative to quarantine and a solution to stop the economic and social devastation of COIVID-19," said Albakri.

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