A newly released report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have determined that only 4% of the world’s destinations had not imposed travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The study, as of 6 April 2020, found that 209 destinations worldwide had introduced some form of COVID-19 related travel restrictions, around 90 of those had either completely or partially closed their borders to tourists.
Those destinations were: Algeria, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Taiwan Province of China, Colombia, Congo (DR), Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, French Guinea, French Polynesia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Korea DPR, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Niger, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Reunion, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, St. Maarten, Suriname, Switzerland, Togo, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Ten destinations enforced quarantine or self-isolation related measures: Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Ethiopia, Ireland, Italy, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Zambia.
One destination, Slovenia, required people returning to the country to provide a medical certificate before arrival.
Regional trends in UNWTO’s five zones showed that all the destinations of Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East had implemented travel restrictions. In the European and Americas regions, 93% and 92% respectively had adopted travel constraints.
Interestingly, two weeks after the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (in early February), just 62 destinations had enforced travel limitations – more than half of that number was from the Asia and the Pacific zone. That number rose to 81 by the first week of March 2020, then following the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the WHO on 11 March, the number escalated to 181 by 24 March.
The 20-page COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions – A Global Review for Tourism report also showed the rapid evolution of travel restrictions over a month-long period, from 9 March 2020 to 6 April 2020.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said COVID-19 has impacted travel and tourism like no other event before in history.
“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.”
To view UNTWO’s full report, click HERE.