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International Travel During Covid-19

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Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Travel Tracker followed how major business and leisure destinations around the world gradually opened back to international travel. The tracker is no longer being updated as of Dec. 20, 2021. You can continue to read about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout here, and on global Covid-19 cases here.

Starting in August 2021, the Bloomberg Covid-19 Travel Tracker used border restrictions, public health measures and vaccination rates as inputs in order to determine which cities were the most open from 70 global destinations. The tracker also recorded what changed each week as places tightened or loosened restrictions.

As of Dec. 20, 2021,  was the most accessible of the places Bloomberg News rated using the criteria above. A total of  places were closed off to outsiders entirely.

In total, the Bloomberg Covid-19 Travel Tracker analyzed  travel combinations. As of Dec. 20, 2021, the world was taking it slow: only  of destinations were considered , based on our overall ratings.

The menu below allowed readers to pick an origin and destination and see what their trip would look like.

Here’s How Open Destinations Are Around the World

Overall ratings for destinations are based on travel restrictions, local vaccination levels and business and leisure openness
Note: For each destination city, travel restrictions relate to local rules for incoming foreign travelers. The assigned rating is the average of all ratings for incoming combinations from our list of cities. The overall rating is a weighted calculation of the three sub-components. Our tracker assumes that travelers are vaccinated; unvaccinated travelers can face stricter rules or be unable to travel. Our ratings methodologyOur ratings methodology explains further details. Bloomberg News updates travel restrictions data daily and city openness and city vaccination data weekly, but the situation on the ground may change more quickly; please do additional research on any trip you are planning.
Sources: Sherpa, Bloomberg News reporting

Bloomberg’s assessments were for international travel only and were based on the difficulty travelers face for a particular trip. A place with a quarantine rule rated as far less accessible than one that could be entered with just a negative Covid-19 test. Cities got credit for vaccinating a large portion of their residents, which can make travel safer. And having restaurants, bars and other places open without restrictions raised the rating, as well.

We have also preserved our full data and rating methodology. To read it click hereWe have also preserved our full data and rating methodology. To read it click here

Bloomberg’s analysis assumed that travelers were vaccinated, since many places require vaccination as a condition of entry. Covid-19 travel rules for unvaccinated people can be stricter and weren’t included in the tracker.

How Hard Is It to Get In?

International travel ratings are based on the entry requirements for a destination
Note: Rules of entry are for . Rules shown are for foreign travelers whose trips originated in another country.  Entry requirements may differ if you are transiting through other countries, or if you have visited other countries since departing from your point of origin. Rules for domestic travel are not shown.
Sources: Sherpa, Bloomberg News reporting

The Bloomberg Covid-19 Travel Tracker also offered an answer to the question many travelers have: just because you can go somewhere, is it worth the trip? Stepping off a six-hour flight to find out that restaurants are closed would be a disappointment. As of Dec. 20, 2021,  destinations were rated as being more open upon arrival, while  destinations fell into our least-open rating.

What Is Open?

Local reporters are tracking city rules on public health measures like masking, as well as the openness of restaurants, bars and other local venues. Rules are for vaccinated people; some places might require proof of vaccination for entry
Note: Rules as of . Saudi Arabia does not permit the operation of nightclubs. The question “are nightclubs open?” does not factor into Riyadh’s and Mecca’s scores.
Sources: Local authorities

With outbreaks in new hot spots and flare-ups in places that have faced surges before, many travelers are looking at local vaccination rates before booking a trip. Our tracker incorporated that data in its ratings.

How Vaccinated Is My Destination?

As of Dec. 20, 2021, the most-vaccinated destination was , while  places had fully vaccinated more than half of their residents.
Note: Most recent data available as of . For full details on the geographic level with data available for each city, please read our methodologyplease read our methodology. Vaccination rates as a share of population are being calculated by Bloomberg News, except for Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Madrid, Munich, New Orleans, Paris, Singapore, Tel Aviv and Vienna, where coverage rates published by the sources themselves are used. Amsterdam and Tel Aviv publish vaccination rates as the share of the population 18 and 12 years and older respectively; for these cities Bloomberg News calculated rates based on the overall population. Nairobi figures are for fully vaccinated people. Sydney figures are for total doses administered only, so an “enough doses to fully vaccinate” figure is used. Beijing’s reported first-dose figures exceed the most recent count of the city’s population; Bloomberg has capped the city’s partial vaccination rate to 100%.
Sources: Government health ministries and local data compiled by Bloomberg News

Finally, although not part of rating the destinations included the tracker, we also followed how flight capacity fared against pre-pandemic levels. For the week starting , 2021, the number of available seats on flights between the destinations Bloomberg tracks was   the comparable week in 2019.

How Air Travel Compares With Pre-Pandemic Levels

Total scheduled seat capacity on flights between destinations in the week starting  vs. the week starting
Note: Total seat counts are based on travel among the destinations included in this tracker. Figures for domestic flights are excluded.
Source: OAG

Bloomberg’s ratings came from a combination of Covid-19 travel restriction data provided by Sherpa, vaccination data compiled by Bloomberg, city openness data from local Bloomberg journalists, and flight capacity information from OAG. We have preserved our full methodology hereWe have preserved our full methodology here.