COVID-19 travel ban imposed on 96 per cent of global destinations, says UNWTO’s new report

Around 90 destinations have completely or partially closed their borders to tourists

UNWTO report on travel restrictions, Global tourism, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Coronavirus imact on tourism, International tourist destination, Travel restrictions during coronavirus

The United Nations specialized agency for tourism, UNWTO has recently released a new report on COVID-19 travel restrictions and its impact on global tourism. According to research carried out for the new report, as of 6 April, 96 per cent of all worldwide destinations have introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

Around 90 destinations have completely or partially closed their borders to tourists, while a further 44 are closed to certain tourists depending on country of origin.

The UNWTO report highlights that almost all global destinations have imposed restrictions on travel since January 2020 and are largely consistent in their response to COVID-19. In terms of Africa, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East, 100 per cent of destinations have adopted COVID-19-related restrictions since January 2020. In the Americas, 92 per cent of destinations have taken similar steps, while in Europe, the proportion is 93 per cent (as of 6 April).

Key COVID-19 travel restrictive measures that were analysed :

• Complete or partial closure of borders to tourists;
• Destination-specific travel restrictions (“Passengers who have transited or been in x are not allowed to enter x”);
• The total or partial suspension of flights;
• Different measures, including requirements for quarantine or self-isolation, medical certificates, invalidation or suspension of visa issuances etc.

Commenting on the development,UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “COVID-19 has impacted travel and tourism like no other event before in history. Governments have put public health first and introduced full or partial restrictions on travel. With tourism suspended, the benefits the sector brings are under threat: millions of jobs could be lost, and progress made in the fields of equality and sustainable economic growth could be rolled back. UNWTO therefore calls on governments to continuously review travel restrictions and ease or lift them as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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