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APTRA’s COVID-19 testing campaign to governments gaining traction


The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association’s call for governments to implement standardised COVID-19 testing on passengers is beginning gain some traction, with 10 states across the region responding “positively” to the campaign.

Across the aviation, travel and tourism industries, a wide range of stakeholders are increasingly aligned in calling for increased testing as a key recovery strategy – one that would ultimately equip governments to reopen borders safely and that could immediately reduce the onerous quarantine measures that are negatively impacting consumer appetite for travel.

APTRA president, Sunil Tuli, who noted that his association launched the campaign less than a month ago, said: “This campaign has definitely created the most positive response to date in 2020 from governments across the region.

“We are confident we have hit the right buttons, engaging several important ministers to formally recognise the issues facing the travel retail industry.  Advocacy takes considerable effort behind the scenes and the results do take time.

“However, we have received personal responses from several senior officials and this recognition of APTRA, as a significant trade association, is a positive step towards the outcome our industry needs.

“APTRA will continue to engage with governments and, where possible, we will join forces with larger organisations in aviation such as IATA and ACI.  This is an example of APTRA’s power in presenting a collective, industry voice – one that represents all types and sizes of businesses in travel retail.”

The responses received to date are from the following governments: Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand. More responses are expected from the 45 governments targeted.

APTRA welcomes the news that the governments of Singapore and Hong Kong are close to an agreement to open an air travel bubble between the countries, expected to be operational in November 2020.

From November 6, 2020, visitors from mainland China can enter Singapore without having to quarantine, subject to having a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival at the airport.  If the result is negative they will be allowed to travel freely within Singapore’s borders.

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