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COVID-19 Impact | Asian countries most cautious of travel relaxations

As per data from the UN, 70 percent of Asian countries had their borders closed to foreigners till as recent as June 1, up 9 percent compared to September 2020.

July 29, 2021 / 03:12 PM IST
Only 1 percent of global borders were open without any COVID-19 restrictions, as per the UN report released in July 2021. This includes borders of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Albania. (Representative Image: Unsplash)

Only 1 percent of global borders were open without any COVID-19 restrictions, as per the UN report released in July 2021. This includes borders of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Albania. (Representative Image: Unsplash)

Asian countries have been among the most cautious of relaxing travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by the United Nations (UN) World Tourism Organization found.

Ever since the pandemic spread across the globe, with first cases identified in China in 2019 and soon spread to the United States by 2020, countries in Asia have kept their borders shut.

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The difference is “stark”, the report said, especially as the “crisis drags on”, going on close to two years now.

As per Statista, which visualised UN data on travel restrictions between Asia and other continents, 70 percent of Asian countries had their borders closed to foreigners till as recent as June 1, up 9 percent compared to September 2020.

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Compared to this, the Middle East (also Asia, but divergent policy on travel), saw 31 percent countries restrict travellers – down by 50 percent from September; while the American, European and African continents had only between 13-20 percent of their borders closed.

Infographic: Asia Remains Firm on Travel Restrictions | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Globally, till June 2021, 29 percent countries completely restricted travellers, compared to 76 percent in May 2020 and 43 percent in September 2020. Meanwhile, 34 percent countries allow partial relaxations and 36 percent are accepting travellers under certain testing and quarantine requirements.

Only 1 percent of global borders were open without any COVID-19 restrictions, as per the UN report released in July 2021. This includes the borders of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Albania.

Complete border closures are in place in 63 countries in June, against 165 in May 2020. Further, 90 percent of these are emerging economies, it added.

Notably, countries that have not relaxed travel restrictions either have low vaccination rates – mostly below 20 percent of the population or are not majorly dependent on tourism for their economies.

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first published: Jul 29, 2021 03:12 pm
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