G7 High-Level Transportation Principles in Response to COVID-19

August 6, 2020 Maritime Safety News

The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America, as President of the G7, on the conclusion of discussions with G7 partners on restoring confidence in transportation and travel.

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Recognizing the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and acting in response to the G7 Leaders’ Statement issued on March 16, 2020, G7 experts launched an initiative to reinvigorate the global interconnected transportation system.

The G7 set forth key objectives to address all modes of transportation– air, land, and sea.  They noted the importance of working together in a transparent way, communicating collective efforts, and helping to restore confidence in travel and tourism.  They stressed the need for coordination between governments, industries, and international organizations to:

  • ensure global transportation routes and supply chains remain open, safe, and secure;
  • restore consumer and passenger confidence;
  • underscore the importance of transportation and critical infrastructure workers as “essential” employees;
  • integrate evolving public health considerations into transportation and travel; and
  • recognize the importance of transportation in facilitating repatriation efforts.

To support global coordination, the G7 will share this document with the G20, other key international partners, and relevant international organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization.

The G7 endorsed the following high-level principles to:

Transportation Safety, Security, and Health

  1. ensure unwavering commitment to safety, security, and public health;
  1. restore passenger and transport operators’ confidence in the health safety of travel through globally compatible public health measures that incorporate the latest scientific and epidemiological understanding of COVID-19;
  1. recognize that the health posture is ever-changing, such that mitigation measures should be based on health and risk-based criteria to allow for continuous monitoring and adjustments of mitigation measures as appropriate; and to avoid unnecessary burdens on the public or industry;
  1. communicate clear and transparent messages to the public on the nature and purpose of the actions being taken in an effort to reduce confusion and restore confidence;

Economic Growth and Recovery of the Interconnected Transportation Systems

  1. underscore the importance of compatible requirements imposed on transportation in response to COVID-19 in order to avoid a global patchwork of health safety measures and to minimize market access barriers and burdens on transportation operators;
  1. maintain connectivity and global supply chains to facilitate the movement of essential goods, medical products, equipment and agricultural goods;
  1. enhance overall systemic resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for all modes of transportation of passengers and goods;
  1. promote innovative digital solutions to advance seamless interconnectivity to accelerate recovery;
  1. recognize transportation as a driver of economic recovery, and aviation’s particular role, in revitalizing global economic growth, travel, and tourism;

International Coordination and Transparency

  1. ensure that any restrictive public health-related measures on travel and transportation resulting from COVID-19, are:
    • responsive, targeted, transparent, proportionate, temporary, and non-discriminatory;
    • risk-based, continuously reviewed, monitored, and adapted as appropriate;
    • compatible with international best practices; and
    • consistent with obligations under international agreements;
  1. share best practices and technological advancements on common challenges such as prevention, sanitization, and cleaning protocols;
  1. promote global coordination among governments and between governments, international organizations the private sector, other key stakeholders;
  1. encourage information sharing regarding repatriation efforts so that citizens may travel to their home countries;
  1. recognize these principles do not alter the sovereign right of a state to take actions to protect its safety and security, consistent with international obligations;

Protection and Treatment of Air Crews

  1. promote a closely coordinated international approach to the treatment of air crews, consistent with recognized public health standards in order to avoid impacts on aviation operations, and to alleviate burdens on air crews, including testing, quarantine requirements, travel to and from their worksite, and immigration restrictions that apply to other travelers;
  1. recognizing that air crews must abide by their employer’s health requirements in their course of duty, to avoid subjecting crew to additional invasive testing;
  1. facilitate or expedite screening for crews and ensure that health screening methods are as non-invasive as possible, for the countries where these measures are required;
  1. continue to support the urgent repatriation of air crews in lieu of quarantine, as circumstances may warrant;
  2. highlight the importance of safeguarding crew rest, with adequate layover facilities and access to food and amenities made available to ensure the continued safety of aviation operations; including for crews operating pre-positioning, ferry, or non-revenue flights;
  1. maintain close contact and coordination with the aviation industry to get updated information on current issues affecting air crews during the COVID-19 pandemic;

Protection and Treatment of Seafarers

  1. encourage discussions among relevant countries in response to COVID-19 outbreaks at sea;
  1. promote an international approach to the treatment of maritime crews in order to alleviate burdens on seafarers, including testing, quarantine requirements, travel to and from their worksite, and immigration restrictions that apply to other travelers;
  1. consider designating maritime crew, and workers requesting to cross a border for the purpose of performing vessel construction, repair, refit, maintenance or inspection/certification, as essential workers to facilitate cross border movement for those that are asymptomatic;
  1. promote a safe and secure workplace for seafarers and their access to prompt and adequate medical care both on board and on shore;
  1. support the repatriation of discharged seafarers to their home countries and travel of new crew members to their ships in order to facilitate crew changes; and
  1. maintain close contact with the maritime industry in order to ensure the exchange of relevant information affecting seafarers and the operation of international shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic.Source: state.gov


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