Following the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of a public health emergency of international concern on February 1, 2016 on the Zika virus, UNWTO recalls that according to WHO there should be no restrictions on travel with the affected areas and that the following travel measures should be observed:
WHO statement on the first meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations, 1 February 2016
• There should be no restrictions on travel or trade with countries, areas and/or territories with Zika virus transmission,
• Travellers to areas with Zika virus transmission should be provided with up to date advice on potential risks and appropriate measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to mosquito bites,
• Standard WHO recommendations regarding disinfection of aircraft and airports should be implemented“.
UNWTO will continue to monitor the situation in close contact with WHO and the relevant tourism authorities.
UNWTO also recalls that health and tourism authorities are working together to inform residents, tourists as well as the industry about the precautions to be taken and the tourism sector is working closely with health authorities to follow WHO prevention recommendations.
As per the impact on the tourism sector, it is too early to make any effective assessment considering the evolving nature of the situation.