Study: Travel Restrictions Make No Impact in Preventing Spread of COVID Variants

Research conducted by Edge Health and Oxera and funded by Airlines UK and Manchester Airports Group (MAG) found that travel restrictions could only delay the peak of a new variant by between two to eight days.

However, the study stressed that this benefit could only be realized if the restriction was imposed the same day that the strain was imported from another country. Given the UK’s record of detecting and reacting to the Omicron variant, the research suggests that any tests or travel restrictions would only be introduced long after the variant has arrived and that such limits would no longer have any effect on delaying the peak of the virus.

In light of these findings, MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said, “The findings show conclusively that testing for international travel will not deliver significant benefits in managing the spread of new variants. As we learn to live with Covid-19, it is important that people are allowed to travel free of the additional cost and uncertainty which testing creates. This study provides ministers with the clear evidence that this is achievable.”

The report on this study was written by Charles Hymas and published by The Telegraph last January 20, 2022.

Editor’s Note: This article provides ultimate proof that international travel bans and travel restrictions are utterly useless against COVID and its variants [also read UN Chief: Travel Bans Over New COVID Strain “Unfair” and “Ineffective”, WHO Chief: Blanket Travel Bans Will Not Prevent International Spread of Omicron Variant]. The question now is: why aren’t countries ending travel restrictions given this new development?

In the same way, domestic travel restrictions cannot prevent the spread of any COVID variant once community transmission is present in any area in the country. This essentially means that in the case of the Philippines, where the Omicron and Delta variants are already freely circulating in communities, implementing testing requirements before entry to any province, city, or municipality, is only a waste of resources and would do nothing to control the spread of the virus.

Take note that this study makes no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated. This should not be used to rationalize lifting restrictions for the vaccinated and not for the unvaccinated, especially as we know for certain that both are not immune to the infection of new variants [In fact, research is showing that it is the vaccinated who are more likely to get infected to new variants, see Vaccinated Individuals More Prone to COVID Infection with Beta, Gamma, and Delta Variants, Document from Public Health England shows Delta less deadly than original strain, vaccinated more vulnerable to Delta variant, Vaccinated people more vulnerable to Omicron infection. Also, read What is causing the explosion of COVID cases which is now leading to panic, and tyrannical, illegal mandates in the Philippines? and Why Do Variants Keep on Emerging Despite Vaccination and Stringent Lockdowns?].

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