According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), half of the world’s top 50 travel markets are now under quarantine and testing is free.
An IATA survey of travel restrictions for the world’s top 50 air travel markets (comprising 88% of international demand in 2019, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres) found that 25 markets accounting for 38% of international demand in 2019 are open to vaccinated travelers with no quarantine measures or testing requirements – up from 18 markets in mid-February.
The survey found that 38 markets representing 65% of international demand in 2019 are open to vaccinated travelers with no quarantine requirement, compared to 28 markets (50% of international demand in 2019 as of mid-February).
Repeated passenger surveys by IATA during the pandemic have shown that testing and especially quarantine are major barriers to travel.
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However, regional variations in the degree of openness between markets are striking.
IATA said travel to Asia remains heavily compromised by COVID restrictions. While North American and European international traffic rebounded to -42% from its 2019 peaks last year, traffic in the Asia-Pacific region remained at -88%.
However, progress has been made, with India and Malaysia among the countries that recently announced the easing of restrictions.
IATA said the easing of measures reflects the growing consensus that travel restrictions such as border closures and quarantine do little to control the spread of COVID-19.
He added that a recent report by OXERA and Edge Health examining the spread of the Omicron variant in Europe concluded that travel restrictions could only delay the peak of a wave by a few days.
Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA, said “The world is wide open for travel and as population immunity rises, more and more governments are managing COVID-19 through surveillance, as they do for other endemic viruses.
“This is great news for a growing number of destinations that will receive a much-needed economic boost during the upcoming Easter and Northern Summer travel seasons.
“Asia is the outlier. Hopefully, recent relaxations, including in Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and the Philippines, pave the way for the restoration of the freedom to travel that is more widely enjoyed in other countries. other parts of the world.