APTRA calls for harmonised approach to airport testing and quarantine

By Andrew Pentol |

Sunil Tuli, President, APTRA

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) has launched a campaign to over 45 individual governments across Asia Pacific proposing regional alignment on quarantine rules and testing on arrival and departure at airports.

If successful, the move would safeguard public health and promote industry recovery.

Reflecting the views of many of its member organisations and DF&TR industry executives, APTRA believes the fragmented inconsistency in rules related to quarantine and coronavirus (Covid-19) testing at airports is one of the biggest obstacles to industry recovery.

Sunil Tuli, President, APTRA said: “Alignment on quarantine and testing imperatives is a critical factor in facilitating the recovery of the travel retail industry. Aviation, tourism and hospitality are highly inter-dependent sectors with millions of livelihoods stuck in jeopardy until governments prioritise a regionally aligned strategy on quarantine and Covid-19 testing for travellers.

“APTRA, of course, supports the prioritisation of national health and safety, yet it is frustrating that there is no joined-up approach between governments that would enable the re-opening of aviation to safeguard millions of jobs.”


Efficient, robust and rapid tests for Covid-19 could be implemented at international borders. These would enable a more reasonable approach to reduced quarantine timescales of perhaps 24 hours in the case of negative results, according to APTRA.

The Italian government is already operating tests on arrival and is now trialling tests on departure at Rome Fiumicino International Airport. Several Asia Pacific airports also are running efficient testing including Singapore Changi, Delhi Indira Gandhi, Hong Kong International and Seoul Incheon.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association has launched a number of major initiatives to support the industry in the region amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Should governments endorse a harmonised approach to airport testing and quarantine, this would be a major step towards re-opening the aviation ecosystem and restoring consumer confidence, acknowledged APTRA.

The Asia Pacific market is integral to the global travel economy. Industry players across the travel and tourism sectors are rallying to ensure industry survival. DF&TR in Asia Pacific creates over 320,000 jobs and the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates 63.4 million jobs in tourism are currently at risk across the region.

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