Among the travel destinations now off limits, more than half are inaccessible to overseas travelers since April 27, 2020.
Moreover, most of the former tourist draws affected, are in Asia, the Pacific and Europe. These are the latest data from the UNWTO Travel Restrictions Report.
More than a third of global tourism destinations are now partially open to international visitors. With Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, North Macedonia and Tanzania, lifting all COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
‘Safe and responsible’
Noting that travel restrictions have been widely used to restrict the spread of the virus, Zurab Polilikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, stresses: “as we work to restart tourism, we must recognize that restrictions are just one part of the solution.”
Travel restrictions must be based on the latest data and analysis and consistently reviewed. “This will allow for the safe and responsible restart of a sector.”
Testing and quarantine
The report shows a growing trend in international destinations. “It is adopting a more nuanced, evidence and risk-based approach” to coronavirus linked travel restrictions, said the UN agency.
More countries are requiring tourists to present a negative PCR or COVID-19 antigen test for entry. They also have to provide contact details for tracing purposes.
Just over 30 per cent of all worldwide destinations have made presenting negative test results their main requirement for entry, which the same proportion are making tests a secondary or tertiary measure.
So far 70 world destinations have adopted such an approach, with additional quarantine requirements. Around a third of these destinations are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Americas.
According to UNWTO, many governments have advised their citizens to avoid non-essential travel abroad, including governments of the top ten destinations who have adopted that policy, which received 44% of all international tourists worldwide, according to figures from March 2018.
How they review policies in the light of the pandemic, will play a critical role in restarting and restoring global tourist flows in the months ahead, said the report.