G7 transport and health ministers unveil plan to boost international travel
Although light on details, world leaders believe that international travel will be boosted by a series of measures agreed at today’s G7 Transport and Health meeting in the UK.
In the first meeting of its kind between G7 Transport and Health Ministers from major global economies, agreement was reached to align their international travel strategies, through seven principles that they claim will build a long-lasting recovery for the international travel sector.
These seven high-level principles include:
• Future-proofing the transportation sector against future health threats;
• Ensuring the fair treatment and safety of essential transport personnel;
• Respecting privacy and data protection in implementing vaccination certification solutions;
• Reaffirming the pre-eminence of scientific evidence in planning international travel policy;
• Ensuring fairness and equity in respective national responses;
• Maintaining regular international and multilateral engagement;
• Delivering a safe, sustainable and resilient recovery.
It is argued that the seven principles agreed today will drive global standards on international travel and continue the progress made to make a long-lasting recovery for the sector.
As outlined in the Chair’s statement, the group also agreed to focus on improving data protection in vaccine certification developments, as well as prioritising the decarbonisation of transport.
The UK government claims that this builds on its recent work to simplify its international travel system, that makes it easier for people to travel to and from the UK, including for all G7 nations – whether that’s for overdue business trips or catching up with loved ones.
G7 members also agreed to focus on facilitating a sustainable global recovery committing to prioritising the sustainable decarbonisation of transport and protecting the rights of transport workers in their vital work to facilitate international travel.
The UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Under the UK’s presidency of the G7, we are determined to get people travelling abroad as freely and safely as possible and the progress made today between all G7 nations is testament to this vision.
“By sharing information, working together on common standards and solutions for vaccine certification, and keeping a focus on a sustainable recovery for our travel sector, we will build a resilient and long-lasting recovery now and for generations to come.”
While Lord Kamall, the UK’s Health Minister, stated: “Global co-operation on healthcare is crucial, especially during a pandemic and the strong links we have with our G7 partners continue to help protect people around the world.
“The UK’s world-leading clinical trials have saved lives. We owe a huge debt to those volunteers who stepped forward to help break new medical and scientific boundaries by taking part in these trials, so we must make sure they are not disadvantaged when travelling.
“I am pleased that we have agreed steps to support the safe return of international travel, and I look forward to working with my G7 colleagues further.”
Ministers also outlined their collective support for the work of the ICAO, including the upcoming High-Level Conference on COVID-19 next month.
The conference will bring together over 190 states to discuss issues relating to international travel, helping to achieve a common approach for aviation recovery as we continue to collaborate with our international partners in response to the pandemic.
Looking to the future, G7 partners agreed that a joined-up approach was essential to mitigate against risks associated with the current pandemic and any future health threats, understanding how to safeguard international travel, and providing a high level of resilience for the sector in the longer-term.