Travel curbs still widespread one year into pandemic, according to UN

Pandemic restrictions have completely or partly closed two-thirds of destinations worldwide to international tourism, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), a United Nations agency.

One year on from the World Health Organization labelling the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, 69 out of 217 destinations remain "completely closed," the UNTWO said on Monday in its latest Travel Restrictions Report.

Around the same number of destinations are "partially closed," the UNWTO calculated.

Thirty-eight of the 69 completely-closed destinations have been that way for at least 40 weeks, the UNWTO said, noting "regional differences" in how curbs are applied.

Thirty Asia-Pacific destinations are completely closed, twice as many as in Europe, where the pandemic hit hard in second and third waves over the winter months.

Eleven destinations in Africa are completely shut, with a further 10 in the Americas and 3 in the Middle East. 

The UNWTO said "the emergence of new variants of the Covid-19 virus" prompted many goverments to "reverse efforts to ease restrictions on travel" seen after the first pandemic wave in early 2020.

Calling for "the safe and responsible restart of a sector upon which many millions of businesses and jobs depend,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Polilikashvili said travel restrictions should be "based on the latest data and analysis and consistently reviewed." 

International arrivals fell 74 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, according to UNWTO data, causing economic losses estimated at around one trillion dollars. The biggest drop was in the Asia-Pacific, where numbers dropped by 84 per cent.

Source: DPA

Sat 18:00
clear sky
13.28
°
C
Sun
13.8
mostlycloudy
Mon
14.7
mostlycloudy
Tue
14.91
mostlycloudy
Wed
17.46
mostlycloudy
Thu
17.53
mostlycloudy