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The APEC region has had some of the most stringent cross-border travel restrictions in the world including complete border closures and non-issuance of entry permits during the nascent stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years since the start of the pandemic, some economies have started to reopen borders to revive travel and tourism. However, to mitigate public health risks, economies also introduced vaccination, testing, quarantine, and other requirements. These COVID-19 border policies have helped economies manage the pandemic, but they have also led to added costs and uncertainties for travellers and impacted the resumption of cross-border travel and tourism.

This report presents an overview of COVID-19 border policies in the region as of mid-late-2022, analyses travel trends to the region, and estimates the impacts of border policies on visitor arrivals. To revitalise cross-border travel and tourism in the region, the report recommends that APEC economies (i) ensure widespread and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines; (ii) implement border COVID-19 requirements that are risk- and evidence-based; (iii) support the development of interoperable digital vaccination certificates; (iv) facilitate the dissemination of information on entry requirements relating to COVID-19; and (v) propose APEC initiatives that address regional risks and continue APEC coordination work, including through relevant sub-fora, to continue cross-sectoral work on regional mobility.

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