COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Output — Special Edition: Marking One Year of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (8 March 2021)

Snapshot Date
Mar 08 2021
  • Other


On 11th March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, a year on, as of 8th March 2021, there have been 116 million cases1 of COVID-19 recorded globally, including more than 2.5 million deaths, and close to 350 million vaccine doses have been administered. Over the past year, the rapidly evolving epidemiological conditions have translated to a dynamic mobility context, whereby new travel restrictions, exceptions and conditions for authorized entry have been issued, altered or revoked. More recently, concerns over new variants of the virus have also led to new border closures and renewal of passenger bans by Governments and authorities. In general, due to unprecedented numbers of stringent COVID-19 related travel measures, global mobility and migration has been adversely affected by the global pandemic. Since 10th March 2020, DTM has been tracking and analysing COVID-19 related air travel restrictions such as airport closures, flight suspensions and passenger entry bans. While COVID-19 related travel restrictions brought global human mobility and migration almost at a standstill, exceptions for returning nationals were issued to facilitate the return of those stranded abroad. Hence, from April 2020, DTM also began tracking exceptions to travel restrictions such as exceptions for nationals, residents, specific types of visa holders; or specific groups, like diplomats, healthcare workers, seafarers, airline crew or nationals of a specific country, territory or area. As countries, territories or areas across the world began reopening borders, allowing carefully managed mobility under stringent conditions, from October 2020, DTM also included tracking new conditions for authorized entry that included inter alia health surveillance apps, passenger locator forms, medical health forms, medical certificates with negative COVID-19 test results, quarantine at designated facilities and COVID-19 testing upon arrival. More recently in 2021, with the discovery and administration of various COVID-19 vaccinations, some countries, territories or areas have also begun to issue exceptions allowing for conditional entry of passengers with proof of vaccination or with proof that they have already tested positive for COVID-19 in the last six months. This report also provides insights and analysis on some of the key trends observed in the last year and new noticeable trends as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.