IATA pushes for antigen testing to re-start air travel

International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging governments to accept best-in-class rapid antigen tests in fulfillment of COVID -19 testing requirements following a research report by OXERA confirming accuracy of results.

Findings of a new research carried out by OXERA and Edge Health have affirmed that the antigen tests, have similar comparable performance to PCR tests in levels of false negatives, are convenient with a processing time 100 folds faster than a PCR, and are cost efficient as the tests are 60 percent cheaper than PCRs.

The research, commissioned by IATA, backs the call for antigen testing for safe and efficient restart of air travel.

Pointing out that the re-starting international aviation will energize the economic recovery from COVID-19, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said it is imperative for the tests to be convenient and affordable for travellers.

“Along with vaccines, testing will play a critical role in giving governments the confidence to re-open their borders to travellers. For governments, the top priority is accuracy.

“The OXERA-Edge Health report tells us that the best-in-class antigen tests can tick all these boxes. It’s important for governments to consider these findings as they make plans for a re-start,” said Juniac.

According to IATA the testing requirements are currently fragmented and are confusing to travelers.

At present many governments do not allow rapid testing.

IATA pointed out that the EU’s specification of acceptable antigen tests offers a good baseline for wider international harmonization of acceptable standards.


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