More destinations loosening restrictions

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The UNWTO notes that many of the countries that have eased travel restrictions are places with a high dependency on tourism, like the Maldives.
The UNWTO notes that many of the countries that have eased travel restrictions are places with a high dependency on tourism, like the Maldives.

Despite flare-ups of Covid-19 in some places where it had previously seemed under control, the number of countries that have eased travel restrictions in the past month has increased significantly, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

As of July 19, 40% (87) of all destinations worldwide had seen a loosening of restrictions on international tourism. That number is up from 22% one month prior and from 3% in mid-May. The UNWTO said that the numbers confirm a trend of a slow but continuous restart of international tourism.

The report shows that 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) continue to keep their borders completely closed to tourism.

Entry regulations these days seem a tangle of change and confusion for some island governments as well as for the travelers who are anxious to visit Caribbean destinations. 

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Of the 87 destinations that have eased travel restrictions, only four have completely lifted all restrictions, while 83 have eased them while keeping measures such as the partial closure of borders in place. Less than half (41%) of all the destinations that have eased restrictions are in Europe, and many are places with a high dependency on tourism: 20 are what the UNWTO calls Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, many of which depend on tourism as a central pillar of employment, economic growth and development, the organization said.

"The restart of tourism can be undertaken responsibly and in a way that safeguards public health, while also supporting businesses and livelihoods," said UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili in a statement. "As destinations continue to ease restrictions on travel, international cooperation is of paramount importance."

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