The international mobility of people and goods remains highly impacted by cross-border restrictions, which have had a devastating impact on international travel and economies across the globe. The economic consequences of these, and other decisions were wide ranging and deep.
The current health crisis persists, but there is a high probability of an endemic state for COVID-19 in the near future. This calls for more sustainable and resilient international mobility systems to allow for the recovery of travel while preserving public health goals, and to improve preparedness against future shocks. These measures could serve as the building blocks for a more resilient global health system aimed at responding more efficiently to future health emergencies.
The High-Level Meeting on Safe International Travel brought together ministers, deputy ministers, and high level authorities mainly responsible for the sectors of health, tourism, and foreign affairs, to discuss measures and build consensus to accelerate return to safe international mobility, while protecting the safety of travel.
See the Chair's summary
Which vaccines or tests should be recognised as valid?
How to respond to the emergence of new variants of concern?
What are the long-term lessons for public health response to pandemic threats?
Which certificates are recognised in each country?
While international travel restrictions have helped delay or reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to some degree, they have caused societal and economic disruption and impacted billions of lives.
The variation in travel restrictions that countries introduced has created confusion among travellers, uncertainty for travel and tourism companies, increased the costs of travel, and left loopholes in the system such that border controls are not effective in preventing importation of cases of COVID-19. The resulting economic impact has been profound. Countries with the largest travel and tourism sectors experienced the largest economic impact. In 2020, for each additional percentage point of GDP that travel and tourism contributed to national economies in 2019, their GDP contracted by 0.3%. Two years into the pandemic, and with increasing access to tools for managing COVID-19, accelerating progress towards the resumption of safe international travel is an important step to returning to normality. Indeed when G20 Leaders met, last October, they highlighted the need to restart international travel in a safe and orderly manner.