"An Essential Part of Quality of Life and Mobility:" BARIG Welcomes Plans of the German Federal Government to Gradually Remove Travel Restrictions

"An Essential Part of Quality of Life and Mobility:" BARIG Welcomes Plans of the German Federal Government to Gradually Remove Travel Restrictions

• Gradual removal of travel restrictions improves the transport of goods and enables people to reconnect with friends and relatives abroad
• Bilateral arrangements also with countries outside the EU should follow
• Flying is one of the safest modes of transport in terms of health and hygiene

Frankfurt am Main, May 20, 2020. The Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG), the joint representation of interests of more than 100 German, European and global airlines, welcomes the German Federal Government's exchange with the EU member states in order to reopen further external borders presumably as of June 15, 2020, and to remove routine-based quarantine measures at entry, as most recently decided today by the Hessian government. A significant initiative as the opening of borders and the gradual removal of travel warnings will lead to the resumption of important transport routes by land, sea, and air, which will not only make a considerable contribution to improving the international movement of goods. The opening of borders also allows for people to reunite across national borders within the EU: families, friends, or even business partners can then again plan and undertake their journeys with confidence.

BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe comments: "We will regain an essential part of quality of life and mobility when travel between closely related countries will be possible again after the long weeks of pandemic restrictions. The flow of goods and the free movement of people are at the core of good international relations between nations and citizens. We, therefore, appreciate steps taken by the Federal Government to take initiatives, also with important partner countries outside the EU, to enable people to travel safely. In addition to many further countries around the world, these include, for instance, Turkey and other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.”

Top priority these days is the health of people. In this context, flying is one of the safest modes of transport. Comprehensive hygiene concepts and measures implemented both by airlines and airport operators, including adequate social distancing, the wearing of mouth-nose-protection, and intensified cleaning routines in the aircraft cabins, all contribute to this goal. In addition to that, special air conditioning systems in aircraft provide de facto extraordinarily clean air, comparable to the air in hospital operating rooms: through vertical airflow, the use of sensitive high-efficiency particulate air filters, and the resulting recirculation of cabin air up to every three minutes, almost 100 percent of all particles, bacteria, and viruses are filtered out.

"The foundations for safe flying in terms of health and hygiene have been laid," explains Hoppe. "In addition, agreements between countries may ensure that passengers can rely on certain coordinated health and hygiene standards and therefore start their journey without concerns. The airlines are pleased to be able to carry more passengers again, thus contribute to enhancing the quality of life and mobility."

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