• UK pushes G7 for creation of ‘future-proofed’ international travel
  • Transport Secretary asks for greater data sharing between the world’s richest democracies through high-level principles setting out how member states will work together to accelerate the reopening of international travel
  • pledges come as leaders look towards upcoming ICAO Conference on COVID-19 next month

World leaders have given international travel a further boost today (30 September 2021) by agreeing a series of new measures at the G7 transport and health meeting hosted by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

In the first meeting of its kind between G7 transport and health ministers from major global economies, agreement was reached to align their international travel strategies through 7 principles that will build a long-lasting recovery for the international travel sector.

These 7 high-level principles are:

  • futureproofing the transportation sector against future health threats
  • ensuring the fair treatment and safety of essential transport personnel
  • respecting privacy and data protection in implementing vaccination certification solutions
  • reaffirming the pre-eminence of scientific evidence in planning international travel policy
  • ensuring fairness and equity in respective national responses
  • maintaining regular international and multilateral engagement
  • delivering a safe, sustainable and resilient recovery

The 7 principles agreed today will drive global standards on international travel and continue the progress made to make a long-lasting recovery for the sector.

As outlined in the Chair’s statement, the group also agreed to focus on improving data protection in vaccine certification developments, as well as prioritising the decarbonisation of transport.

This builds on recent work done by the UK government to simplify its international travel system to make it easier for people to travel to and from the UK, including for all G7 nations – whether that’s for overdue business trips or catching up with loved ones.

G7 members also agreed to focus on facilitating a sustainable global recovery committing to prioritising the sustainable decarbonisation of transport and protecting the rights of transport workers in their vital work to facilitate international travel.

Grant Shapps Transport Secretary said:

Under the UK’s presidency of the G7, we are determined to get people travelling abroad as freely and safely as possible and the progress made today between all G7 nations is testament to this vision.

By sharing information, working together on common standards and solutions for vaccine certification, and keeping a focus on a sustainable recovery for our travel sector, we will build a resilient and long-lasting recovery now and for generations to come.

Lord Kamall Health Minister said:

Global cooperation on healthcare is crucial, especially during a pandemic and the strong links we have with our G7 partners continue to help protect people around the world.

The UK’s world-leading clinical trials have saved lives. We owe a huge debt to those volunteers who stepped forward to help break new medical and scientific boundaries by taking part in these trials, so we must make sure they are not disadvantaged when travelling.

I am pleased that we have agreed steps to support the safe return of international travel, and I look forward to working with my G7 colleagues further.

Ministers also outlined their collective support for the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), including the upcoming High-level Conference on COVID-19 next month. The conference will bring together over 190 states to discuss issues relating to international travel, helping to achieve a common approach for aviation recovery as we continue to collaborate with our international partners in response to the pandemic.

Looking to the future, G7 partners agreed that a joined-up approach was essential to mitigate against risks associated with the current pandemic and any future health threats, understanding how to safeguard international travel, and providing a high level of resilience for the sector in the longer term.


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