It's been two years when the deadly coronavirus engulfed the whole world into it. Since then, the whole world has seen multiple ups and downs in its economy. Among the most thriving industry, the tour and travel business has seen the worst ever turbulence phase in the past two years. However, the finding of the COVID-19 vaccine had given some sought relief to the people and the government. But the emergence of the new COVID variant has again put both the government and the travellers into a new dilemma. In the past month, the situation has totally changed, forcing the countries to tighten their guards.
Among the most travelled countries, the United Kingdom is the worst affected country with nearly one lakh of the coronavirus cases reported in a single day. Similarly, the cases of the coronavirus have seen a tremendous increase in the United States, Norway, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore and Denmark. The situation forced the countries to either impose a total ban or tighten the restrictions in order to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. Here are the list of the most travelled countries and the current travel restrictions imposed by the government:
Though UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out imposing additional lockdown measures in England before Christmas but said the Omicron variant related data will be kept under review to see if stricter measures are needed next week. The announcement came as the UK recorded 90,629 new COVID cases, slightly down on the all-time high on Monday of 91,743, largely driven by the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. However, the government has mandated all visitors to England to take a COVID-19 test before boarding their flight.
According to the recent restrictions announced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all air passengers 2 years or older with a flight departing to the US from a foreign country are required to show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than a day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days before boarding the flight.
COVID-19 cases in Thailand have steadily been dropping, with 2,476 new cases and 32 deaths reported on Tuesday. However, the Thailand government has reimposed a mandatory quarantine for visitors and suspended a “test-and-go” scheme for fully vaccinated arrivals as concerns grow over the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
As the first case of the new covid variant was detected in South Africa last month, resulting in a tremendous increase in the fresh cases. In order to curb the further spread, the government imposed a lockdown.
The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday recorded its highest daily virus caseload in months. Notably, the country claimed it has vaccinated nearly 99% of its population with one dose of the COVID vaccine. As of now, the country has not imposed any travel restrictions. However, the nationwide mask mandate remains in place outdoors.
As the country is also witnessing an abrupt increase in the COVID cases, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga on Monday announced the showing of a COVID-19 vaccination certificate compulsory for entry to public places starting from January 1. Ranatunga said health officials were drawing up arrangements on implementing the decisions at the major international airports of the country.
The Singapore government has released new guidelines for international travellers. As per the new guidelines, those with vaccine passports or proof of recovery to enter restaurants and indoor events. However, it has not announced a travel ban or restrictions.