Which Countries’ Borders Are Open?

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Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, which as no restrictions on international visitors

The just-released new version of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Travel Restrictions Report shows that while some destinations—Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic—have reopened with no restrictions, one in three international countries’ borders are still closed to visitors.

According to the latest data, the emergence of new variants of the COVID-19 virus has prompted many governments to reverse efforts to ease restrictions on travel. However, others are adopting a more nuanced, evidence and risk-based approach to implementing travel restrictions. A growing number of destinations—32 percent of all worldwide—now require international tourists to present a negative PCR or antigen test upon arrival at their borders and to also provide contact details for tracing purposes.

As of the beginning of February, 69 countries were completely closed to international tourism. Of those, 30 are in Asia and the Pacific, 15 are in Europe, 11 are in Africa, 10 are in the Americas. At the same time, 34 percent are partially closed to international tourists.

Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are the only international meeting and incentive destinations that have completely lifted all restrictions. Those requiring testing and quarantine are: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, Egypt, Guatemala, Jamaica, Korea (Republic of), Maldives, Martinique, Monaco, Panama, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and Grenadines, Thailand, Turkey, Turks and Caicos, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the British Virgin Islands.

The full report, released this week, can be found here.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.