During the critical meeting, Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “On behalf of WTTC and our 200 members, I would like to thank the Portuguese EU Presidency, Commissioner Breton and all European ministers for their alignment to make everything you can prepare for the summer season. According to our recent data, 174 million jobs have been affected globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Europe alone, the most important region in the world, 23 million jobs have been affected.
“An important problem facing our sector is that different countries have different protocols that are not integrated with each other, and the lack of international coordination. We believe that the key to recovery is restoring international mobility, and we must work together to achieve this. It is critical that we have a clear roadmap to safely resume economic activity, including rapid and cost-effective technology-backed testing via interoperable digital health passes or certificates.
“The WTTC believes that while vaccine launches provide relief to the sector, vaccines should not be a requirement for travel. Instead, we should focus on testing, mandatory use of masks, and better health and hygiene measures to provide certainty and confidence. The sector also desperately needs more support from governments around the world. Without it, more companies will collapse and many more will lose their jobs.
“We have only one request: we need to see the restoration of international mobility. We need clear rules for mobility. Europe must define protocols, so it is clear how mobility within the EU, to the EU and from the EU can be safely resumed.
“We must replace ineffective quarantines and move from a country-based assessment to an individual-based assessment. Not all populations are infected and we should not treat them as such.”