“A majority of destinations around the world (53%) have now started easing travel restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” concludes an extensive, country-by-country report by the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, UNWTO. Although “many remain cautious in view of the development of the pandemic,” UNWTO confirms an ongoing trend towards the gradual restart of tourism. Analyzing restrictions until September 1, the U.N. agency found that a total of 115 worldwide destinations have eased travel restrictions, an increase of 28 since July. Of these, two (Albania and Maldives) have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 still have partial bans in place. Starting October 1, Belize will reopen for international air travel for those testing negative for the virus.
“Tourism is slowly but steadily restarting”
“Coordinated leadership and enhanced cooperation between governments means tourism is slowly but steadily restarting in many parts of the world,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. According to the regional analysis, Europe – where 81% of all destinations have eased COVID restrictions and 17% maintain complete border closure — has moved farther than anywhere else to ease travel restrictions. The following are some of the main results of the U.N. study:
- Destinations which have eased travel restrictions generally have high or very high levels of health and hygiene infrastructure. They also tend to have comparatively low COVID-19 infection rates.
- Within advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations have already eased restrictions. In emerging economies, just 47% of destinations have done so.
- 64% of those destinations that have eased restrictions have a high or medium dependence on air as a mode of transport for international tourism arrivals.
At the same time, the report shows that many destinations around the world are extremely cautious about easing travel restrictions they introduced in response to the pandemic — and some have passed severe measures in an attempt to keep their citizens safe; “93 destinations (43% of all worldwide destinations) continue to have their borders completely closed to tourism, of which 27 have had their borders completely closed for at least 30 weeks.”
More than half of all destinations with borders completely closed to tourism are among the “World’s Most Vulnerable Countries.” More than half of destinations with full restrictions still in place are also “highly dependent on aviation, with at least 70% of their tourists arriving by air, causing significant connectivity impacts for their citizens and economies.”
List Of Destinations With Completely Closed Borders due to COVID, As Of September 1
Applied by 93 destinations (43% of all destinations worldwide): Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros Islands, Congo, Cook Islands, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, French Guyana, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonie, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, (The) Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saba, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Eswatini, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan Province of China, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Virgin Islands British, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
Here is the complete report and listings. Read more below:
Feature photo: Roeming Belize Source: United Nations specialized agency for tourism, UNWTO