GUIDELINES for COVID-19 tests for airline passengers is now under review by a UN body, according to sources.
Airports and airlines alike are pushing for a more uniformed testing approach and a global aviation manual is said to be being considered as they strive for highly reliable tests when screening passengers to detect the novel coronavirus ahead of flights.
The hope is that with more guidelines the aviation industry, which has suffered badly since the beginning of the pandemic, would have a chance of making some sort of recovery as airline trade group IATA is forecasting a 66% decline in air traffic in 2020.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Manual on Testing and Cross Border Risk Management Measures is expected to be agreed upon in November and would offer voluntary technical guidance.
However, it would not oblige countries to remove quarantines and it would not suggest specific tests, such as antigen or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the sources said.
The sources did say that the guidelines would recommend passengers be screened using a test with a sensitivity and specificity of 95% so there would be few false positives and negatives.
Another plan being discussed is for passengers to be tested up to 48 hours ahead of travel but not necessarily at the airport.
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