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European Parliament. Question on COVID-tested flights and harmonisation of EU travel protocols

By two MEPs

"Parliamentary questions

12 March 2021 

Question for written answer E-001411/2021to the Commission Rule 138

Simona Bonafè (S&D), Giuseppe Ferrandino (S&D) 

Subject: COVID-tested flights and harmonisation of European travel protocols

The European airport sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, passenger numbers fell by 1.72 billion in relation to 2019 figures, a reduction of 70.4%, bringing the sector back to 1995 traffic levels.

In response, a number of airport operators have been experimenting with ways to provide high safety standards, introducing strict travel health protocols in an effort to regain passenger trust and stimulate a gradual revival of the sector.

The company Aeroporti di Roma, for example, together with the Italian Government, tried out COVID-tested flights, the only such example in Europe, on routes between Rome and New York and Rome and Atlanta. According to the figures released from the first trial period, only 9 passengers out of 5 249 tested positive, i.e. 0.17%.

These results show how preventive screening of all passengers could radically reduce the risk of importing infection and be a potential alternative to quarantine measures, leading to a steady resumption of air traffic.

1 Is the Commission aware of the COVID-tested travel protocol experiments and the results?

2 With a view to harmonising European travel protocols, would it be possible to promote these protocols as good practice in Europe?

Last updated: 26 March 2021".

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency