Tourism amid coronavirus: Which countries lifted, eased or kept travel restrictions?

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Forty percent of all destinations worldwide have now eased travel restrictions previously imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, as a “slow and responsible” restart of the international tourism sector is underway, the World Tourism Organization said in a new report.

The United Nations specialized agency for tourism said its latest outlook based on data as of July 19 was “up from 22 percent of destinations that had eased restrictions on travel by June 15 and the three percent previously observed by May 15.”


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The report stated that 87 global destinations eased travel restrictions. Out of those only four have completely lifted all restrictions and 83 kept some measures in place such as partial border closures. Meanwhile, 115 destinations “continue to keep their borders completely closed for tourism.”

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “As destinations continue to ease restrictions on travel, international cooperation is of paramount importance. This way, global tourism can gain people’s trust and confidence, essential foundations as we work together to adapt to the new reality we now face.”

Air travel and tourism have been some of the hardest-hit sectors internationally by the coronavirus pandemic, with many governments worldwide shutting their borders, restricting travel, banning tourism activities, and imposing curfews and lockdowns.

According to the agency’s data, “by the end of May, the pandemic had led to $320 billion in lost revenues, already three times the cost of the 2009 Global Economic Crisis.”

Read: Global air traffic won’t return to pre-coronavirus crisis level before 2024: IATA

Global destinations

Destinations which have eased travel restrictions for international tourism are:

Afghanistan, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guyana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Martinique, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Spain, St Eustatius, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Destinations which have lifted travel restrictions for international tourism are:

Albania, Maldives, Serbia, and Tanzania.

Destinations which continue to keep their borders completely closed for tourism are:

Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros Islands, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Rep. of Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali,, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal , New Caledonie, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Guinea, Russia, Rwanda, Saba, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan Province of China, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Destinations with travel restrictions to international tourism as of 19 July 2020 according to UNWTO. (Screengrab/
Destinations with travel restrictions to international tourism as of 19 July 2020 according to UNWTO. (Screengrab/

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