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EEIA welcomes EU Council rapid antigen tests and vaccination decisions and calls for speedy implementation

26.01.2021

European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA) welcomes yesterday’s European Council decisions related to rapid antigen tests and vaccinations.

“Even though the current situation justifies the current restrictions to contain the infections, Europe should prepare as quickly as possible to support and empower free movement of people, especially for business purposes, in a safe and controlled way”, says Barbara Weizsäcker, Secretary General. Strengthening the use of rapid antigen tests and the mutual recognition of Covid-19 test results along with accelerating vaccinations will contribute to containing the pandemic and resuming safe and seamless travel in a responsible manner. Furthermore, building a common system of proof for tests and vaccinations is vital.

Therefore, EEIA calls for the speedy development of a joint digital form of proof for vaccinations, as agreed yesterday. It should include also test results and must be standardised, interoperable and ideally compatible with or built on a global platform. The IATA Travel Pass which is already being tested by several airlines could be an ideal solution. Its application could be opened up to be of use to the entire travel and hospitality chain and include specifically trade fairs and business events. These initiatives will foster the protection of health and economic activity alike. Exhibitions and business events are key to rebuilding economies – international business travel for the purpose of attending such events is vital.

Agreeing and implementing an EU-wide or ideally global digital travel pass solution for enabling international business travel will give a clear perspective to the exhibition and business events industry and the whole travel and hospitality ecosystem. Empowering exhibitions and business events means empowering every industry, every sector, as it gives them back their market places and platforms for innovations, knowledge transfers and scientific exchange. On top, it boosts economic activity and trade in general and generates considerable benefits for the travel and tourism sector.

 
 

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