The World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a statement on international travel limits that the worldwide travel ban should be repealed or relaxed because severe safeguards have shown ineffectual.
“Lift or ease international traffic bans as they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by States Parties,” the statement of WHO reads.
According to the organization, the current high number of infected patients indicate that travel restrictions have not slowed the spread of the Omicron variety across the European continent.
As a result, the WHO has proposed that travel laws, including testing and quarantine procedures, be based on risk assessments in order to avoid putting an economic strain on foreign travellers, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Furthermore, WHO has asked governments not to require solely proof of immunisation against the COVID-19 disease, arguing that due to an inequitable distribution of vaccines, they should allow entrance to people who hold other certificates as well.
“Do NOT require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for international travel as the only pathway or condition permitting international travel given limited global access and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” WHO added.
While the immunizations do not remove the danger of spreading COVID-19, they are nonetheless beneficial in reducing the risk of serious disease and death. As a result, it has been deemed critical to develop a global policy that would ensure the protection of high-risk populations by focusing primarily on nations with poor vaccination rates.
Despite WHO’s recommendation, a considerable number of EU/Schengen Area nations have already declared that the validity of vaccination permits will be reduced beginning February 1. This suggests that they have no plans to remove the necessity to provide a vaccination certificate anytime soon. Furthermore, considering the fact that the majority of European Union and Schengen Area countries strengthened their entry requirements, the Omicron form spread rapidly across the continent.
Moreover, SchengenVisaInfo.com noted that, despite strong laws in place, all EU/Schengen Area nations are currently grappling with significantly increasing Omicron infection rates.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s most recent map update, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands have seen the highest number of COVID-19 infection cases in the last seven days.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the Americas and COVID-19 test kits in short supply, Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa Etienne urged countries to prioritise quick antigen tests for persons with symptoms who are most at risk of transmitting the disease on Wednesday.
At a press conference, Etienne informed reporters that 7.2 million new COVID-19 cases had been recorded in the region in the previous week, and that governments must “increase testing at the community level to reduce strain on hospitals, which are working overtime.”
Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus previously warned world leaders that the Covid pandemic “is nowhere near done,” noting that the Omicron form is causing hospitalizations and fatalities all around the world.
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