By SAT Newsdesk
MELBOURNE, 31 July 2020: Most countries have halted some or all international travel since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but now there is talk to re-open travel. The pandemic is not yet over and cases continue to surge in many countries. The urge to revive the almost collapsed travel business is strong but doubts remain about it. In a report (May 2020) published by the IATA, the organization anticipates that the recovery of the travel industry will be led by domestic endeavors to begin with, with passenger numbers not climbing back to their normal state until at least 2023. But travel companies are taking initiatives from Australia and the response has been positive.
Mr. Ashwani Sonthalia, CEO Gaura Travels, Melbourne feels “travel by air is much more safe compared to other modes”. Gaura Travels has recently organized special charted flights from Australia to India.
“All health and other precautions are taken for the welfare of those traveling and now people should also muster the courage to go ahead for international travel by air”, he says.
The Gaura Travel is now gearing up for its special Melbourne-Amritsar charter flight through the Sri Lankan Airlines on 7 August 2020.
A report reveals last year (2019) about 1.4 billion people traveled globally and out of this 60 percent was by air.
So, if at all, travel revival should take what shape? The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its ‘COVID-19 Travel Advice’ (30 July 2020) document* outlines key considerations for national health authorities when considering or implementing the gradual return to international travel operations.
The document says, ” The gradual lifting of travel measures (or temporary restrictions) should be based on a thorough risk assessment, taking into account country context, the local epidemiology and transmission patterns, the national health and social measures to control the outbreak, and the capacities of health systems in both departure and destination countries, including at points of entry. Any subsequent measure must be proportionate to public health risks and should be adjusted based on a risk assessment, conducted regularly and systematically as the COVID-19 situation evolves and communicated regularly to the public.”