There was a time when having an American passport brought with it a sense of prestige. American tourists were accepted and loved around the world. The coronavirus pandemic has changed all of that.
American Passport Index Falls
Americans have never had as much trouble traveling as they do right now. Americans find themselves unwelcome in most countries around the world due to the failed response to meet the outbreak. The ranking of U.S passports has dropped 50% over the past year leaving it at number 19 in the Passport Index.
The American passport was always in the top 5 passports for the past five years. Americans could visit over two-thirds of countries without a Visa based solely on the reputation of the American passport, according to the Passport Index.
The Passport Index uses data from the United Nations and foreign ministries to rank the 199 United Nations countries according to their mobility and how freely citizens in that country can visit other countries.
Other Countries Don’t Want American Tourists Visiting Them
The American passport has fallen from the fifth position in the index down to number 19, between Malaysia and Moldova. For the sake of comparison, the USA’s northern neighbor Canada is ranked at number 3, and its southern neighbor Mexico is ranked number 27. Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Luxemburg, Ireland, New Zealand, and Switzerland all share the top spot.
The Passport Index notes that the only reason the United States slipped so far was the coronavirus response. The issue has nothing to do with policy changes or visa restrictions. It’s all because of countries placing temporary limits on visits from American citizens because other countries don’t want American tourists right now.
The United States is leading the world in both coronavirus cases and deaths, making the country the epicenter of the virus right now. The country accounts for around 26% of all cases in the world, despite making up only 4% of the total world population.
What About Domestic Travel?
The domestic travel landscape in the USA has shifted dramatically as different states take different approaches to control the virus. Some states allow free travel, while others require out-of-state visitors to quarantine for 14 days or have proof they tested negative for coronavirus before they can enter the state.
These mandates are designed to prevent the free flow of people around the country and prevent states with declining rates from seeing additional spikes in infection rates.