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G20 assert importance of coordination to minimize restrictions on essential travel

RIYADH, April 24 (KUNA) -- G20 Tourism Ministers affirmed Friday importance of addressing immediate consequences of Covid-19, and pledged to continue coordination with health, immigration, security, and relevant authorities to minimize undue restrictions for essential travel such as for medical workers and stranded individuals.
In a virtual meeting of G20 Tourism Ministers in Riyadh, which concluded earlier, the ministers said in their final communique, they "will work with these authorities to ensure that the introduction and removal of travel restrictions are coordinated and proportionate to the national and international situation, and ensure the safety of travelers.
"We, the Tourism Ministers of the G20, express our deepest sympathies for the tragic loss of lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suffering faced by people around the world," the final statement noted.
"The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has estimated that up to 75 million jobs are at risk in this labor-intensive sector," the statement noted.
"We commit to working together to provide support to the sector and welcome the national efforts to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic by G20 countries," the statement said.
"We acknowledge the support provided by the private sector in response to the health emergency, such as in the repatriation process and the provision of accommodations and meals," the statement said.
"We recognize the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of workers in travel and tourism and commit to working together to support an inclusive and sustainable recovery in the sector," the statement said.
"To support economic recovery, we commit to ensuring a safe travel environment that helps rebuild consumer confidence in the sector, by strengthening regional and international coordination," the statement added.
"We will continue collaboration with industry stakeholders to improve the sector's resilience, share relevant knowledge and information to improve crisis management, strengthen coordination mechanisms, and better prepare the sector to respond to future risks or shocks," the statement added.
"We welcome the ongoing work by relevant international organizations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the OECD, as well as industry partners such as the WTTC, on COVID-19 response and recovery, and encourage countries to contribute to these efforts," the statement added.
"We task the Tourism Working Group, ahead of the Tourism Ministers' Meeting in Saudi Arabia on October 7th, 2020 to identify challenges to the sector that have arisen from the crisis, to develop and share further targeted responses to stimulate recovery, and to identify ways to improve resiliency in the sector," the statement concluded. (end) mdm.mb