(21 Mar 2022, 11:27 +07)
IATA has welcomed the increasing momentum
towards re-opening of borders and relaxation of travel
restrictions, as many parts of the world decide to classify COVID19
Aegean Airbus A321 reg: SX-DGA. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com
An IATA survey of travel restrictions for the
world’s top 50 air travel markets – comprising 88% of international
demand in 2019 as measured by revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs)
revealed the growing access available to vaccinated travelers:
– 25 markets representing 38% of 2019
international demand are open to vaccinated travelers without
quarantine measures or testing requirements – up from 18 markets
(28% of 2019 international demand) in mid-February.
– 38 markets representing 65% of 2019
international demand are open to vaccinated travelers with no
quarantine requirements – up from 28 markets (50% of 2019
international demand) in mid-February.
Repeated surveys of passengers by IATA during the
pandemic has shown that testing and especially quarantine are
major barriers to travel.
The regional variations in the degree of openness
among the markets are stark.
Travel in Asia remains heavily compromised by
COVID restrictions. While North American and European
international traffic rebounded to -42% of their 2019 peaks last
year, traffic in Asia Pacific remained at -88%. Even in this
region, however, there has been some progress, with India and
Malaysia among the growing number of countries to recently announce
a relaxation of
The easing of measures reflects the growing
consensus that travel restrictions such as border closures and
quarantine do little to control the spread of COVID19.
report by OXERA and Edge Health, looking at the spread of the
Omicron variant in Europe, concluded that travel restrictions may
only delay the peak of a wave by a few days.
“The world is largely open for travel. As
population immunity grows, more governments are managing COVID19
through surveillance, as they do for other endemic viruses. That
is great news for a growing number of destinations that will
receive a much-needed economic boost from the upcoming Easter and
Northern Summer travel seasons. Asia is the outlier. Hopefully
recent relaxations including Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand,
Pakistan, and Philippines are paving the way towards restoring
the freedom to travel that is more broadly enjoyed in other parts
of the world,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
According to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine,
as of 05:20 Thailand time (GMT+7) on 21 March 2022 there were
470,191,872 confirmed COVID19 cases globally since the pandemic
began, an increase of 1,479,425 since 05:20 Thailand time on 20
March 2022. Overall, there have been 6,076,853 deaths since the
pandemic began, an increase of 3,423 in the last 24 hours.