DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced new recommendations for countries to lift or ease existing COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
According to VOANews.com, the WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee said during a recent meeting that coronavirus-related restrictions “do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by citizens.”
WHO officials said the unmitigated spread of the Omicron variant shows the ineffectiveness of travel restrictions over time. The agency revealed safety measures such as masking, testing, isolation/quarantine and vaccination “should be based on risk assessments to avoid placing an excess financial burden on international travelers.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it had updated its travel advisory lists for 40 countries and territories due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases around the world.
The United Kingdom relaxed some of its COVID-19 restrictions last week, resulting in industry executives predicting international travel will reach 90 percent of its pre-pandemic level. England said fully vaccinated travelers and children under 18 no longer have to take a pre-departure COVID test when they come back to the U.K.
A new study from the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) found that global tourism experienced a four percent upturn in 2021. The agency said the full impact of the Omicron variant and surge in COVID-19 cases has yet to be seen, but the rising vaccination rates and easing of travel restrictions have all helped release pent-up demand.