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WHO issues updated travel guidance on new corona developments, including VoC

WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: WHO/Christopher Black

Geneva, July 2 (MNN) The WHO on Friday issued an updated travel guidance to take into account new developments, including spread of Variants of Concern and growing numbers of people who have had vaccination or previous infection.

The key points enumerated by the World Health Organisation are:

• During the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel should always be prioritized for emergencies and humanitarian actions, travel of essential personnel, repatriations, and cargo transport for essential supplies such as food, medicines, and fuel.

• As countries gradually resume international travel, introduction of risk mitigation measures aiming to reduce travel- associated exportation, importation and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2 should not unnecessarily interfere with international traffic and should be based on a thorough risk assessment that is conducted systematically and routinely.

• Decision-makers in member-states can conduct risk assessments through a mixed-methods approach (explained in this document and an accompanying risk assessment tool) to calculate the additional burden presented by possible importation of COVID-19 cases and decide policies on that basis of whether they have the capacity to cope with this burden.

• International travellers should not be considered by nature as suspected COVID-19 cases or contacts. Therefore, WHO does not recommend travellers as a priority group for testing.

• The use of “immunity certificates” for international travel in the context of COVID-19 is not currently supported by scientific evidence and is therefore not recommended by WHO.

• The overall health and well-being of communities should be at the forefront of considerations when deciding on and implementing international travel-related measures.

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