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MADRID: Almost one-third of destinations worldwide are currently completely closed to international tourists because of the pandemic, the United Nations tourism body said on Monday.

Governments initially started easing travel restrictions last year but reversed the trend after new virus strains emerged and because of “the persistent seriousness of the epidemiological situation”, the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said in a report.

At the start of February, 69 destinations out of 217 worldwide, or 32 percent, were completely closed to international tourism — including 30 in Asia and the Pacific, 15 in Europe and 11 in Africa.

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