(CNN) – A new report on passports says the gap in freedom to travel is the widest that has existed for decades, and disparities between countries with regard to getting vaccinated could exacerbate the situation.
The Henley Passport IndexSince 2006, it has periodically evaluated passports that provide ease of travel globally, and published its most recent classification and analysis.
Due to the fact that the index did not take into account temporary restrictions, Japan leads again, with its passport providing visa-free and visa-free access to 193 destinations around the world.
“With widespread travel restrictions in place worldwide, any level of freedom of international travel remains theoretical,” Henley & Partners, the UK-based citizenship consultancy responsible for the index, said in a statement.
It is somewhat ironic that Japan came first when it recently made a tough decision to ban international viewers from watching. Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, That had to be rescheduled and is scheduled to start in July.
People with a Japanese passport have more visa-free or visa-free access to 167 destinations than citizens of Afghanistan, who rank at the bottom. In fact, they can only visit 26 places without requiring a visa in advance. This is the largest difference between countries since the index was launched, according to Henley & Partners.
China and the United Arab Emirates are the highest
Singapore remained in second place (with 192 destinations) and South Korea tied with Germany in third place (each with 191 destinations).
As usual, most of the remaining countries are in the top ten of the European Union.
The United Kingdom and the United States topped the ranking in 2014. However, the strength of their passports has declined steadily in recent years. It currently ranks seventh, along with Switzerland, Belgium and New Zealand.
When it comes to freedom of travel, the biggest success stories of the past decade are China and the United Arab Emirates.
Since 2011, China has moved up 22 places – from 90 to 68 – while the United Arab Emirates has moved from 65 to 15. Its work to strengthen diplomatic ties around the world now allows its citizens to easily access 174 destinations, compared to 67 a decade ago.
“With the launch of mass vaccination programs in some rich and developed economies, such as the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, global mobility will soon become possible again for some,” Henley said. partners.
He added: “For citizens of developing and emerging economies, where the vaccine is being rolled out more slowly, and where passports tend to provide much less freedom of travel in general, the future certainly looks less promising.”
In the report, two political scientists, Ugur Altundal and Omer Zarbeli, of Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively, pointed out some of the risks. Permissibility of vaccination As an alternative to reopen international travel.
Since people are likely to be vaccinated every year, developed countries can try to secure supplies of the vaccine for future use. Ultimately, this could prolong the epidemic and increase the risk of new mutations. “
“Countries that are able to vaccinate their population relatively quickly will also facilitate greater mobility of their population. “Facing conflicts and those lacking the funding to ensure adequate storage and effective distribution of vaccines will fall behind in easing restrictions on movement.”
Remote work visas have been a big trend in the past year, as the pandemic has forced companies around the world to adopt more flexible working arrangements.
“Destinations ranging from Helsinki to Dubai are already developing programs and policies targeting the mobile talent that employers have granted permission to travel,” Greg Lindsay, director of applied research at NewCities, wrote in the report. He also warned that “any global destination that does not have a program runs the risk of being left behind when the world is reopened.”
The best passports for 2021 are:
1. Japan (193 destinations)
2- Singapore (192)
3- Germany and South Korea (191)
4- Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain (190).
5- Austria, Denmark (189)
6- Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, France and the Netherlands (188)
7- Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States (187).
8- The Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway (186).
9- Australia, Canada (185)
10- Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Hungary (183).
The worst passports
Many countries in the world have visa-free or visa-free access to less than 40 countries. Among these:
102- North Korea (39 destinations)
103- Nepal (38).
104- Palestinian Territories (37)
105 – Somalia (34)
106- Yemen (33).
107 Pakistan (32)
108- Syria (29).
109- Iraq (28).
110- Afghanistan (26).
The Henley & Partner List is one of many indexes created by financial firms to rank passports globally based on the accessibility they provide to their own citizens.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and rates 199 passports and 227 destinations. It is updated in real time throughout the year as visa policy changes take effect.
The Arton Capital Passport Index takes into account the passports of 193 member states of the United Nations and six territories: the People’s Republic of China, Macau, Hong Kong, Kosovo, the Palestinian Territories and the Vatican. Areas attached to other countries are excluded.
In the 2021 Index, Germany, Finland, Spain and Switzerland share first place, scoring 134 in visa or visa waiver on arrival.