DISCUSSION

At what degree can the consensus be applied for the realised measures?

There is a wide range of measures put by those players, some are found obligatory and some not. The most important measure that remains certain is very simple – personal general hygiene measures.

Another very important measure is a social distance as it is inevitable for the three main modes of transmission of the new coronavirus through close contact with the sick person. The interesting point is that the International Air Transport Association that represents 82% of airlines of the global air traffic, lately released news where it declares that the previously applied measure of keeping the middle seat empty has no more effective in the action and they state: “Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission onboard aircraft is low. Mask-wearing by passengers and crew will reduce the already low risk while avoiding the dramatic cost increases to air travel that onboard social distancing measures would bring.

The mask-wearing would seem the measure that has to have its place but the Health authorities of countries like Switzerland and Netherland claim that it is not compulsory because it will not protect healthy people but on the other hand it might prevent someone who is already infected from infecting others.

One key reason for the low number of infections recorded in Japan has imposed strict criteria to be eligible for testing. The goal of this approach has not been to identify all infected people, but rather to focus resources on those most in need of treatment and to trace clusters of infection. In general, in the Japanese culture
the wearing masks, very little contact, cleanliness of public toilets and restaurants, and clean water and air as potential explanations for the puzzle of Japan’s low coronavirus numbers.

There is not sufficient data about the medical examinations prior to travelling, however, IATA claims it could be one of the alternatives along with the thermal screening that has shown no efficiency for Switzerland and Netherlands health authorities.

When it comes to the quarantine, Switzerland and Netherland authorities argue that they must trust their people to be self-isolated whereas in Japan this measure is accompanied by the strict regular check.

Area disinfection and air filtration have logical importance as an accompaniment to the travellers self-responsibility but in my opinion, it is also used as a marketing factor to providing a safety sense of the place for the customers.

So far those are mainly the measures that have to be maintained with the consciousness of the individuals because each of us is responsible for her/his own health well being. Undoubtedly, the expectations about the safe travelling are at its importance and it is up to the players to create this secure environment.

How to encourage travelling for people during and after the pandemic?

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus has changed the way we think about travel and our plans for future travel, and will continue to do so. We are all (hopefully) distancing ourselves from society and avoiding unnecessary mixing. Discretionary journeys are, put simply, very risky.

In the face of an expected slow improvement in demand for air travel, the IATA has called on governments to collaborate with industry on confidence-building steps. “Passenger confidence will suffer a double whammy even after the pandemic is contained-hit by personal economic concerns in the face of a looming recession on top of lingering concerns about the safety of travel. Governments and industry must be quick and coordinated with confidence-boosting measures,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director-general and CEO.

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