|We’ve been tracking public health rules and Covid-19 border restrictions since early August. And as of our latest update, the world is the most open it’s been.|
Bloomberg grades cities as “more open,” “moderately open” and “less open” based on local public health restrictions that have clamped down on public life. When we first started grading cities, only 33% had our “more open” rating. In less than three months, that share is up to 56%. Border rules have been easing as well, with the U.S. planning to open back up to most of the world, following similar steps taken by the European Union. Even Singapore, with it’s Covid Zero approach, has begun to set up travel corridors for vaccinated travelers from the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Switzerland.That increased global openness is showing up in airline data. Bloomberg’s Covid Travel Tracker looks at the volume of airline seats between the 70 destinations we track. Week over week, things are headed in the right direction. France, Italy and Spain have all seen spikes in capacity. Some destinations, like Mexico, are already above their 2019 levels. And destinations such as Brazil, Singapore and the U.K. are clawing their way back to pre-pandemic levels.On a recent fall weekend in Brussels, the city’s sidewalk cafes were packed with visitors drinking beer and people watching. Things aren’t entirely back to normal—the city requires proof of vaccination to enter many places, and a spike in cases has Belgium looking at new health measures such as masking, work-from-home recommendations and expanding the use of vaccine proof. It all underscores the fragility of the gains made since the worst of the pandemic.But the country is committed not to going back to a lockdown.
“Last year, in a situation like this, we would be locking down certain activities,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a press conference, announcing the change. “What we do today is keep everything open, using a vaccination passport or using masks.”—Drew Armstrong
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