In what appears a boost for tourism, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on nations to lift or ease COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The United Nations specialized health organization lamented that the restrictions are detrimental to economic growth and have proven to have little public health value.
According to a statement released by WHO last Wednesday, it has become critical for all countries to lift or ease international traffic bans.
“They (travel ban) do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by state parties.
The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of Omicron variant to limit international spread of Omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time.
Countries should rely on evidence-informed risk assessment when choosing to introduce travel requirements, namely masking, testing, vaccination, and quarantine, and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers” the statement reads.
The WHO said due to the limited global access and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, proof of vaccination requirement for international travel should not be the “only pathway or condition permitting international travel”.
It urged countries to recognise all vaccines that have received WHO authorisation, particularly in the context of international travel.
“State Parties should consider a risk-based approach to the facilitation of international travel by lifting or modifying measures, such as testing and/or quarantine requirements, when appropriate, in accordance with the WHO guidance.
Recognize all vaccines that have received WHO Emergency Use Listing and all heterologous vaccine combinations as per SAGE recommendations, including in the context of international travel” the statement added.