COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly across the globe. As of 16 October and since the outbreak began in December 2019, over 38.6 million confirmed cases have been reported and the world is approaching 1.1 million deaths. Confirmed cases have been reported in more than 200 countries/ territories/areas; nearly half of these cases (48 per cent) and deaths (55 per cent) continue to be reported in the Americas, while Europe is reporting a substantial increase in the number of cases, and Africa in the number of deaths.
While the global pandemic persists and Governments and authorities continue to grapple with the epidemiological challenges, global mobility remains affected. As of 12 October 2020, a total of 219 countries, territories or areas have issued 98,717 travel restrictions indicating an increase of 2 cent from 96,549 travel restrictions reported on 5 October 2020. There has been an increase of 108 per cent in visa changes, 3 per cent increase in medical requirements and an increase of 2 per cent in other limitations such as new documents needed for travel. There has been a simultaneous decrease of 3 per cent in restrictions on passengers arriving from specific countries, territories or areas. In parallel to existing travel restrictions, a total of 175 countries, territories or areas have issued.
771 exceptions enabling mobility despite blanket travel restrictions. Between 5 and 12 October 2020, 9 countries, territories or areas issued 13 new exceptions whilst 9 countries, territories or areas removed 19 exceptions.
As the pandemic’s effects continue to vary widely across world regions, mobile populations encounter diverse challenges depending on the policy and epidemiological contexts in their sending, transit, and receiving areas. Regulations and measures are evolving rapidly, and mobile populations often lack timely, accurate information about these changes. These populations are also frequently in vulnerable socioeconomic situations and have been especially impacted by the global economic downturn generated by the pandemic. Furthermore, in crisis contexts, COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gaps in access to basic services and protection challenges, particularly for the most vulnerable groups. To address these and other questions, IOM missions around the world are working with governments and partners to ensure that migrants, whether in regular or irregular situations, as well as returnees and forcibly displaced persons, are included in all aspects of COVID-19 preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.