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| 2 minutes read

Europe leading the way as some travel restrictions are slowly lifted

In response to COVID-19, 24 percent of all destinations worldwide (51 total locations) have had travel restrictions in place for 19 weeks and 37 percent (80 locations) for 15 weeks. We in global mobility have of course felt the impact of these measures as have most world economies. As locations consider next steps, travel is one high priority that is being addressed around the world.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently published their fifth report looking at coronavirus-related travel and tourism restrictions. These reports are being updated on a regular basis to support mitigation and recovery efforts in the tourism sector, providing a global overview of the measures in place and analyzing them from a tourism perspective. They also offer global mobility experts a view into travel insights that would impact talent mobility. 

This fifth UNWTO report shares that:

  • 65 percent of destinations worldwide (141 locations) continue to have their borders completely closed. 
  • In Africa, the proportion of destinations where borders remain closed to tourists now stands at 85 percent.
  • In the Americas, 76 percent of destinations maintain full border closures, as do 67 percent of destinations in Asia and the Pacific and 92 percent of destinations in the Middle East. 
  • However, in Europe, full border closures are reduced now to 26 percent of all destinations.

As of June 15, a total of 48 destinations (22 percent of all destinations worldwide) have eased travel restrictions for international tourism purposes. This is an increase from 41 destinations as of May 18.  According to the report, destinations are easing travel restrictions based on public health considerations within their own destination, as well as on public health considerations of their source markets. Where easing of restrictions is happening, borders are opening mainly between countries with similar case situations and infection rates. However, as situations are constantly changing, monitoring and adjusting will continue to be a top priority for countries.

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Also interesting: The New York Times just shared that European Union officials are racing to agree on who can visit the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries of origin are faring with new coronavirus cases. Americans, so far, are excluded, according to draft lists they have seen.

Additionally, here the CDC provides their latest COVID-19 travel recommendations by country, and for those considering travel in the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration is preparing for summer travelers with updated security procedures

The latest research by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows that 22% of all destinations worldwide (48 destinations) have started to ease restrictions, with Europe leading the way. At the same time, however, 65% of all destinations worldwide (141 destinations) continue to have their borders completely closed to international tourism.


travel, regional, domestic, international, tourism, united nations, unwto report, europe, asia, americas, travel restrictions, covid-19, full border closures, easing of restrictions, cdc, new york times