The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has revealed that all destinations in the world have instituted travel restrictions due to COVID-19 which has affected people across the globe.
UNWTO said the measures represents the most severe restriction on international travel in history and no country has so far lifted restrictions introduced in response to the crisis.
In statement, UNWTO said “the latest data from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism shows that 100% of destinations now have restrictions in place.
“Of these, 83% have had COVID-19-related restrictions in place already for four or more weeks and, as of 20 April, so far no destination has lifted them.”
Zimbabwe is among the countries that closed its borders to foreign nationals, allowing only citizens to return home though under strict monitoring that include mandatory 21-day quarantine at various sites that have been designated for the purpose around the country.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, tourism had been touted as one of the country’s lowest hanging fruit with quick wins and even the current government had also identified it as one of the key pillar of economic revival together with agriculture and mining.
Currently all hotels in Zimbabwe are closed as the country is in a lockdown that started on the 30th of March and expected to end on the 17th of May provided there is progress in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country were about 34 cases have been reported.
Commenting on the issue, UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism has shown its commitment to putting people first. Our sector can also lead the way in driving recovery.
“This research on global travel restrictions will help support the timely and responsible implementation of exit strategies, allowing destinations to ease or lift travel restrictions when it is safe to do so.
“This way, the social and economic benefits that tourism offers can return, providing a path to sustainable recovery for both individuals and whole countries,” he said.
The latest analysis from UNWTO shows that, of 217 destinations worldwide: 45% have totally or partially closed their borders for tourists – “Passengers are not allowed to enter”
30% have suspended totally or partially international flights – “all flights are suspended”
18% are banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin or passengers who have transited through specific destinations