Global: How clear are travel guidelines and limitations related to COVID-19?

Cheryl Kar
July 20, 2021, 1:23 PM UTC

As part of our new International Travel & Tourism Report 2021, YouGov has been tracking consumer perceptions of the new COVID-19-related travel protocols around the world.

We asked consumers in 17 countries how clear or unclear their government’s guidance on travel is for travelers entering or leaving their home countries. 

One in five Americans has not heard anything regarding travel guidelines and limitations 

The US requires all air travelers entering the country to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country as well as provide proof of recovery in the case that they contracted the virus in the past 90 days. In the US, slightly more than a third of American adults say these travel guidelines are clear, with 29% saying they are not very clear. Our data shows, however, that a large share of Americans are unaware of travel guidelines for the US (22%).

Europeans say that travel guidelines in their home country are unclear 

Strict travel guidelines are in full force in many European countries. In the UK, it’s advised not to travel to amber or red listed countries to reduce the spread of new strains of the virus. In Spain, it’s mandatory to present proof of full vaccination or a negative test result, whereas prospective travelers to Denmark are subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test and a 10-day quarantine period. Our data indicates that more than half of the public in the UK (56%) and Spain (58%) believe that there is a lack of clarity in these guidelines. Danes are divided in their opinion of their country’s travel guidelines, with 36% saying they’re clear and 37% saying they are not clear. Apart from Poland where respondents who say they are clear about travel guidelines (45%) outnumber those who say it’s unclear (33%), a similar situation is prevalent in other European countries. This includes Italy, France, Germany, and Sweden where those who are unclear about travel guidelines in their home countries (49%, 52%, 52% and 54% respectively) significantly outnumber those who say these guidelines are clear (37%, 30%, 27% and 28% respectively). 

Majority of the respondents in APAC and MENA are clear about travel guidelines and limitations  

In general, consumers in APAC and MENA describe the travel guidelines relating to COVID-19 in their home countries as clear and easy to understand. The UAE, for example, tops these countries with seven in ten Emiratis (70%) say they are clear about travel guidelines. Even with frequent changes in air travel bans to specific countries or mandatory vaccination certificate requirements, a majority of Indians are also clear on travel guidelines related to COVID-19 (64%). Similarly, more than half of Singaporeans (56%) and Australians (56%) also agree that the travel guidelines in their respective home countries are clear. 

Download YouGov’s International Travel & Tourism 2021 report here 

Receive monthly topical insights about the travel and tourism industry, straight to your inbox. Sign up today.  

Discover more travel and tourism content here   

Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2012 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in June 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.