Considerations relating to passenger locator data, entry and exit screening and health declarations in the context of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK

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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Considerations relating to passenger locator data, entry and exit screening and health declarations in the context of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK. ECDC: Stockholm; 2020.

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The scope of this document is to provide ECDC’s views on the passenger locator data required and the appropriate use of entry and exit screening procedures at points of entry (PoE), including health declaration forms, in the context of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the United Kingdom (UK).

Executive summary

  • The availability of passenger locator data, particularly for airline passengers, is extremely important for the success and effectiveness of contact tracing operations for communicable diseases. In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracing is one of the most important public health activities which, in conjunction with testing and active case finding, can help to minimise the risk of new cases being introduced into new areas or areas with low incidence.
  • In order for contact tracing to be successful and efficient, passenger locator data should become available to the public health authorities as soon as possible after the identification of a confirmed case among airline passengers.
  • Current evidence indicates that entry and/or exit screening at ports of entry, such as airports, is ineffective in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • A health declaration form or health screening questionnaire is part of the exit or entry screening process targeting a specific disease and this needs to be assessed by a health professional with the objective of detecting cases in incoming passengers.
  • ECDC advises against combining passenger locator data and health declarations or health screening questionnaires in the same form, as this will delay the transfer of data and the contact tracing procedures.

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