On 8 August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has joined the international adhoc Ebola Travel and Transport Task Force and is working with other United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to monitor the situation and provide timely information in response to the outbreak of the disease.
WHO IHR Emergency Committee meeting (22 September)
The Committee, whilst recognising and appreciating the efforts made by affected states, identified a number of areas where more action and attention is urgently needed. In particular, the Committee noted:
– Flight cancellations and other travel restrictions continue to isolate affected countries resulting in detrimental economic consequences, and hinder relief and response efforts risking further international spread; the Committee strongly reiterated that there should be no general ban on international travel or trade, except for the restrictions outlined in the previous recommendations regarding the travel of EVD cases and contacts.
– The Committee also advised that affected countries should fully engage with the transport sector, especially the aviation and maritime sectors, to facilitate a mutual understanding of potentially diverse viewpoints and develop a coordinated response.
Travel and Transport Task Force
IMO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Airports Council International (ACI), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the Travel and Transport Task Force.
Information and guidance can be downloaded form this web page. Updated information will be posted when it becomes available.