(CNN) – Before Covid-19 hit, people enjoyed more freedom of movement than at any time in history.
Air traffic has been steadily rising for decades, and the average passport holder worldwide has access without a visa or visa upon arrival at 107 world destinations.
And then came travel bans.
Asian citizens still have travel documents that open most doors. Japan is at the top of the rankings, offering visa-free or visa-free access to 191 destinations around the world.
Singapore is in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea is tied with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).
The standard classification, however, does not take into account temporary prohibitions – and this, says Henley & Partners in a release, is where the juiciest details are located: “It is open to examining what freedom of travel looks like at the moment for the owners. of the once distinguished passports. “
Japan and South Korea have been ranked in terms of health and safety criteria related to the EU’s corona, as well as Australia and Canada (in ninth place in the Henley passport index).
However, Henley & Partner’s notes, “in a move that is seen as a major blow to the bad treatment of the pandemic”, the United States was a notable exclusion, along with Brazil and Russia.
The United States is currently ranked seventh on the official index, but under the current EU ban, Americans have about the same level of freedom of travel as Mexicans (No. 25 in the Henley Passport Index, with a score of 159) and Uruguay. (Not 28, with a score of 153).
Similarly, Brazil’s absence from the list of countries welcomed by the European Union means that while its official ranking in Henley is number 19, the current reality is that it is ranked somewhere closer to Paraguay (36th in the index, with a score of 142). ).
Singapore, meanwhile, is ranked No. 2 on the Henley Passport Index, but its exclusion from the EU list means that passport holders today have much less freedom of travel than other countries on the top podium: Japan, South Korea and Germany.
Christian H. Kaelin, president of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the concept of passport, says the impact of the recent EU decision will be great. “As we have already seen, the impact of the pandemic on freedom of travel has been more drastic and long-lasting than originally expected. This latest EU decision shows that there needs to be more unrest.”
Japan ranks first for 2020.
TITHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images
The best passports for 2020 are:
1. Japan (191 destinations)
2. Singapore (190)
3. South Korea, Germany (189)
4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)
5. Denmark, Austria (187)
6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)
7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium (185)
8. Greece, New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic (184)
9. Canada, Australia (183)
10. Hungary (181)
The worst passports you need to keep
Many countries around the world have access without a visa or visa upon arrival in less than 40 countries. These include:
103. North Korea (39 destinations)
104. Libya, Nepal, Palestinian Territory (38)
105. Somalia, Yemen (33)
106. Pakistan (32)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (28)
109. Afghanistan (26)
Henley & Partner’s list is one of the various indicators created by financial companies to classify global passports according to the access they provide to their citizens.
The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. It is informed in real time throughout the year, as well as when the changes in policy theory come into force.
The Arton Capital passport index takes into account the passports of 193 member states of the United Nations and six territories – ROC Taiwan, Macao (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and the Vatican. Soils attached to other countries are excluded.
The 2020 index places Japan and New Zealand at the top, with a visa-free score of 118.