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Asia Minute

Asia Minute: UN reports Asia Pacific remains most restrictive region for international travel

An American Airlines Airbus A319 airplane takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va.
An American Airlines Airbus A319 airplane takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va.

Entry restrictions have been put into place quickly in many countries after the emergence of the latest variant of COVID-19. They are targeted at travelers from a number of African countries — but a new study out from the United Nations shows many locations across the Asia Pacific still have tight rules on visitors from any country.

Even before the latest variant of COVID-19, many countries have been cautious about re-opening their borders to travelers.

The latest word from the UN’s World Tourism Organization shows the Asia Pacific remains the most restrictive region in the world when it comes to international travel.

The organization’s current Travel Restrictions Report shows nearly two-thirds of all destinations in the region are still closed to visitors from overseas.

At the other end of the scale is Europe — where only 7% of borders are closed to international travelers — while North and South America together are at 10%.

Most countries in the world that are open to visitors now require either vaccines or a negative COVID test or both for entry.

Worldwide, about one in five travel destinations remains completely closed to tourism — and about a quarter of all destinations are partially closed.

The Secretary-General of the UN’s World Tourism Organization is urging countries to be both fast and consistent in border policies in response to the new variant.

Zurab Pololikashvili says Europe should take the lead in setting a consistent policy — since when it comes to tourism, that continent is still the most visited in the world.

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