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WHO, ILO form Action Group to protect transport workers amid omicron variant

World Health Organisation and ILO will form an Action Group “as a matter of urgency” with major transport bodies to ensure freedom of movement for international transport workers.

The commitment came after organizations and unions representing road, air, and sea companies and workers met with Dr. Tedros and Mr. Ryder last week. They warned of the impact of new travel restrictions on transport workers and the already fragile global supply chain in the wake of the Omicron variant.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), have made urgent pleas for governments’ health departments to coordinate measures and avoid restricting the movement of transport workers.

Dr. Tedros said during the meeting that works on the Action Group would begin this week and regular meetings will be held with IATA, ICS, ITF, and IRU going forward. He noted other areas of focus will include amending the Yellow Card, a medical passport issued by WHO, to be used by transport workers as proof of vaccination.