During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Which Passports Hold the Most Power?

Right before the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, the world was travelling more than ever, according to air traffic records.
The Henley Passport Index, which measures the world’s most travel-friendly passports, announced in January that Japan had topped its 2020 ranking, with its citizens able to visit a record-breaking 191 destinations without requiring a visa in advance.
Worldwide, citizens were enjoying visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 107 destinations on average ( Maybe not Pakistani passports holders though)
Today, 93% of the world’s population is living in countries with coronavirus travel bans, temporarily levelling the playing field. According to the creator of the Henley Passport Index (known as the ‘Passport King’), the power dynamic of passports has been shuffled.
“Look at Spain, or any other country which has a complete lockdown. Before, as a Spanish citizen you had one of the best passports in the world in terms of free travel,” explains Kälin. “Now, if you were also a Bangladeshi citizen — normally a very bad passport for visa-free travel — you could freely go out to the airport and board a flight, if you find one, and leave Spain.”
Japan has held onto its position at the top of the leaderboard as we enter the second quarter of 2020, Singapore in second place, and Germany and South Korea tied for third.
Luxembourg and Spain join Italy and Finland in fourth place, while Austria has risen to join Denmark in fifth. The index is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.
Due to Coronavirus, health and health insurance is also an aspect being looked at when calculating the rankings of passports. “If you look at this current crisis, aspects of health — the quality of health system, the quality of emergency care, access to health cover and healthy service — suddenly have come up. That has never been a consideration on visa policy so far.”
The best passports to hold in 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, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal (186)
7. United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland (185)
8. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, New Zealand (184)
9. Canada, Australia (183)
10. Hungary (182)
Whether your passport made the list or not (Our Pakistani passport sure didn’t!), we now more than ever appreciate the freedom we once had to travel and explore the world. We pray the situation normalises soon and everyone comes out of this healthy, and more appreciative of life and all it’s blessings.
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