Cyprus has dropped to 16th position on the Henley and Partners 2020 passport index, which ranks the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without prior visa.
Cyprus ranked 16th in 2020, down two points from 2019, having visa-free access to 174 destinations.
The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and enhanced by ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.
According to Henley, with global travel almost at a standstill, the latest results of the passport index offer disturbing insight into the indiscriminate havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Japan’s passport continues to hold the top spot on the index “as we enter the second quarter of 2020, but the reality is that current stringent travel restrictions mean that most non-essential travel for Japanese nationals is heavily curtailed.”
With 3.5bn people, nearly half the global population, presently living in voluntary or mandatory confinement, the latest results from the index raise challenging questions about what travel freedom and global mobility really mean, both currently and in a deeply uncertain post-pandemic future, Henley said.
Commenting on the latest index, bestselling author and the founder and managing partner of FutureMap Dr Parag Khanna said the combined effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on public health, the global economy, and social behaviour could lead to much deeper shifts in our human geography and future distribution around the world.
“This may seem ironic given today’s widespread border closures and standstill in global transportation, but as the curtain lifts, people will seek to move from poorly governed and ill-prepared ‘red zones’ to ‘green zones’ or places with better medical care. Alternatively, people may relocate to places where involuntary quarantine, whenever it strikes next, is less torturous. In the US, both domestic and international migration was surging before the pandemic, with Gen-Xers and millennials shifting to cheaper, second-tier cities in the Sun Belt or abroad to Latin America and Asia in search of an affordable life. Once quarantines lift and airline prices stand at rock bottom, expect more people across the globe to gather their belongings and buy one-way tickets to countries affordable enough to start fresh.”