The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has joined fellow international transport bodies the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Road Transport Union (IRU) , and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in jointly calling for governments not to reimpose border restrictions that further limit the freedom of movement of international transport workers.
One week since the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the new Omicron strain ofCOVID-19 as a “variant of concern”, at least 56 countries have reimposed varying degrees of travel restrictions.
The transport bodies are asking governments to learn from the lessons of the last two years and take decisive and coordinated action together to ease strain on the supply chain, and support an exhausted global transport workforce during the busy holiday season.
Today the transport bodies also expressed their frustration with governments failing to:
– Guarantee the free and safe movement of transport workers;
– Prioritise transport workers to receive WHO-recognised vaccines;
– Adopt lasting travel and health protocols developed by industry for seafarers, drivers and air crew, as endorsed by WHO, ILO, IMO and ICAO;
– Create globally harmonised, digital, mutually recognised vaccination certificates and processes for demonstrating health credentials (including vaccination status and COVID-19 test results), which are paramount to ensure transport workers can cross international borders; and
– Increase global vaccine supply by all means at their disposal in order to expedite the recovery of the transport industries.
A crisis meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to discuss the recommendations, and the impact that travel bans and other restrictions in response to the Omicron variant will have on transport workers and the global supply chain is scheduled for Monday 6th December.