Almost three quarters of countries have completely closed their borders to international tourism as Covid-19 places the whole world on lockdown.

All countries around the world still have coronavirus-related travel restrictions for international tourists in place new research by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) reveals.

Out of all 217 destinations worldwide, 156 (72%) have placed a complete stop on international tourism, according to the data.

Restrictions have been in place for at least three months in 25% of destinations, while in 40%, restrictions were introduced at least two months ago.

The research also found that no destination has so far lifted or eased travel restrictions.

Secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism has been the hardest hit of all the major sectors as countries lockdown and people stay at home.

“UNWTO calls on governments to work together to coordinate the easing and lifting of restrictions in a timely and responsible manner, when it is deemed safe to do so.

“Tourism is a lifeline to millions, especially in the developing world. Opening the world up to tourism again will save jobs, protect livelihoods and enable our sector to resume its vital role in driving sustainable development.”

UNWTO found that 83% of destinations in Europe have introduced complete closure of borders for international tourism. In the Americas, this proportion stands at 80%, in Asia and the Pacific it is 70%, in the Middle East it is 62% and in Africa it is 57%.

The organisation has been working closely with international bodies, national governments and the private sector, to support “the responsible and timely recovery of tourism”.