Muscat Daily

Pan­demic shakes up pass­port hi­er­ar­chy

Omani pass­port jumps two places up to 62nd rank

- Our Correspond­ent Travel · Infectious Diseases · Transportation · Health Conditions · Industries · United States of America · International Air Transport Association · Air Transport Association · Oman · United Arab Emirates · Kuwait · Qatar · Bahrain · Saudi Arabia · Singapore · India · Russia · Russian Empire · Japan · Saudi Arabia national football team

The COVID-19 pan­demic has up­ended the seem­ingly un­shake­able hi­er­ar­chy of global mo­bil­ity that dom­i­nated the last few decades, re­sult­ing in sig­nif­i­cant changes in the strength of the pass­ports of many coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Hen­ley Pass­port In­dex: Q4 2020 Re­port, at the be­gin­ning of the year, the US pass­port was ranked sixth and Amer­i­cans could travel has­sle-free to 185 des­ti­na­tions around the world. Since then, that num­ber has dropped dra­mat­i­cally by over 100, with US pass­port hold­ers cur­rently able to ac­cess fewer than 75 des­ti­na­tions.

The Hen­ley Pass­port In­dex ranks all of the world's pass­ports ac­cord­ing to the num­ber of des­ti­na­tions their hold­ers can ac­cess with­out a prior visa based on ex­clu­sive data from the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA).

Oman’s rank­ing, how­ever, has im­proved by two places since the Jan­uary 2020 re­port - from 64th ear­lier to 62nd now. Omani pass­port hold­ers could travel to 79 coun­tries with­out a prior visa be­fore Jan­uary 2020 and can travel to 80 na­tions now.

In the GCC, UAE tops the in­dex with a global rank of 18th, hav­ing ac­cess to 170 na­tions, fol­lowed by Kuwait (53rd, ac­cess to 96 na­tions), Qatar (54th, ac­cess to 95 na­tions), Bahrain (61nd, ac­cess to 83 na­tions), Oman (62nd, ac­cess to 80 na­tions), and Saudi Ara­bia (64th, ac­cess to 78 na­tions).

Coro­n­avirus-re­lated travel re­stric­tions are be­gin­ning to lift in some coun­tries af­ter more than six months of panic and un­cer­tainty. The re­sump­tion of in­terna

tional cross-bor­der travel may ap­pear to be a sig­nal that things are slowly re­turn­ing to nor­mal, but as the lat­est re­search from the Hen­ley Pass­port In­dex shows, the pan­demic has shaken the pass­port hi­er­ar­chy and global mo­bil­ity.

At the be­gin­ning of 2020, the Sin­ga­pore pass­port was ranked sec­ond glob­ally, with pass­port hold­ers able to ac­cess an un­prece­dented 190 des­ti­na­tions glob­ally. How­ever, un­der the cur­rent travel re­stric­tions, Sin­ga­pore­ans can travel to fewer than 80 des­ti­na­tions around the world.

‘Un­sur­pris­ingly, those coun­tries whose coro­n­avirus re­sponses have been crit­i­cised for be­ing in­ad­e­quate have taken the great­est knock when it comes to the travel free­dom of their cit­i­zens,’ stated the re­port. Brazil­ian pass­port hold­ers were able to ac­cess 170 des­ti­na­tions with­out ac­quir­ing a visa prior to Jan­uary. Cur­rently, ap­prox­i­mately only 70 des­ti­na­tions are ac­ces­si­ble.

‘The de­cline in mo­bil­ity and pass­port power for coun­tries such as In­dia and Rus­sia have been less dra­matic, but nev­er­the­less in­dica­tive of an over­all shift. Rus­sian cit­i­zens had ac­cess to 119 des­ti­na­tions prior to the COVID19 out­break but can cur­rently travel to fewer than 50. At the be­gin­ning of the year, In­dian pass­port hold­ers could travel to 61 des­ti­na­tions with­out a visa but due to virus-re­lated re­stric­tions, they cur­rently have ac­cess to fewer than 30.’

With­out tak­ing the var­i­ous pan­demic-re­lated travel bans and re­stric­tions into ac­count, Ja­pan con­tin­ues to hold the No 1 spot on the Hen­ley Pass­port In­dex, with a visa-free/visa-on-ar­rival score of 191. Sin­ga­pore re­mains in sec­ond, with a score of 190.

The Hen­ley Pass­port In­dex ranks all of the world's pass­ports ac­cord­ing to the num­ber of des­ti­na­tions their hold­ers can ac­cess with­out a prior visa

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman