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Long journey? Boundaries are closed

The liberal weekly magazine The Economist publishes it Default table (Normal table). Based on the pre-epidemic average of 100, airline, transport and retail sales are monitored in 50 countries, covering 76 percent of the world’s population. Today, that index is 66, more than double the April 2020 level, but 34 percent from its pre-epidemic level. Although the journey into the EU is gradually getting back on track, the journey between the continents is still dangerously low than its normal level.

Why is this important?

International travel has always been a thing Some happy Of this world. Holders of cash and internationally accepted passports can board a plane and travel to the other side of the world. That geopolitical divide has been exacerbated by the epidemic, and as a result we all now have more closed borders.

Numbers do not lie. Globally, the number of international visitors by 2020 will drop by 73 percent from pre-epidemic levels in 2019, thus estimated to be $ 2,400 billion for tourism and related industries, according to a report. Report of the United Nations.

International tourism is at the 1980s level

International tourism is “at the level of the eighties” today, says Soritza Urosevic, the UN World Tourism Organization’s representative in Geneva. Not because people don’t want to travel anymore, they want to. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), there are 47 million Americans Plans to travel next weekend (July 4), Although they mainly move by car.

The complex, new reality of international travel is nowhere clearer than in the longest stretch of the globe: the border that separates the United States and Canada. Before the epidemic, 15 million Americans crossed that border each year. Now no one is affected. The border has been closed since March 20, 2020, and will remain so until at least July 20, 2021, when it is announced. Once crossing the once bustling border at Niagara Falls in New York, only 1.7 million Americans entered Canada by 2020. Against 10.5 million in 2019. With one exception, the borders of countries such as Australia, China and New Zealand are also closed. Very little is affected by the transport situation of goods: world trade is only 5.6 percent lower by 2020.

A border crossing between Canada and the United States, (Jonathan Howard / Canadian Press via AB)

What now?

The same UN. The report predicts that the number of international visitors to countries with high vaccine coverage will recover rapidly, but total numbers will not return to pre-epidemic levels until 2023 or later.

As many people still strongly support the implementation of travel restrictions, public opinion will also play a role. In May, a poll found that 86 percent of Canadians were strongly or partially in favor of closing the border to foreigners. Similar figures have been reported in Australia and New Zealand.

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Governments will be tempted to resort to them again in the future, as they now have on the table an unthinkable option of closing the epidemic boundary. The globalization predicted by some has not come to an end because freight traffic continues unhindered. The free movement of persons, on the other hand, is far off.