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Industry warns governments about knee-jerk reaction to Omicron variant

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International transport organisations say restrictions for cross-border transport workers because of the new COVID-19 variant are placing huge pressure on the global supply chain.

Seafarers, air crew and drivers in at least 56 countries have had to navigate re-imposed travel restrictions because of the Omicron variant.

IATA, the International Air Transport Association, ICS, the International Chamber of Shipping, IRU, the International Road Transport Union, and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, have jointly called for governments to not reimpose border restrictions that further limit the freedom of movement of international transport workers and “learn from the lessons of the last two years.”

The transport bodies, which represent more than $20 trillion of world trade annually and 65 million global transport workers across the supply chain, say many governments have taken a rushed and fragmented approach to travel rules.

Ina. Statement, the organisations outlined steps to support supply chains as COVID-19 disruption continues to linger.

  • Guarantee the free and safe movement of transport workers
  •  Prioritise transport workers to receive WHO-recognised vaccines.
  • To adopt lasting travel and health protocols developed by industry for seafarers, drivers and air crew, as endorsed by WHO, ILO, IMO and ICAO.
  • To create globally harmonised, digital, mutually-recognised vaccination certificates and processes for demonstrating health credentials (including vaccination status and COVID-19 test results), which are paramount to ensure transport workers can cross international borders.

A crisis meeting with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to discuss the recommendations, and the impact that travel bans and other restrictions in response to the Omicron variant will have on transport workers and the global supply chain is scheduled for Monday 6th December.

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