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Forty-two percent of UNESCO's world heritage sites have not reopened yet


Agence France-Presse

 /  Fri, July 31, 2020  /  05:03 pm
Forty-two percent of UNESCO's world heritage sites have not reopened yet

An aerial photograph taken on May 26, 2020 shows the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, in Normandy, northwestern France. Since 1979, the site of the Mont Saint-Michel and its bay is a UNESCO world heritage site. (AFP/Damien Meyer)

More than four out of ten of Unesco's world heritage sites are still closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced the UN body via Twitter.

According to a survey conducted by UNESCO completed on July 20, 71 countries have entirely closed the World Heritage sites within their borders, which are protected by the organization. These cultural destinations are normally very popular with tourists. The closed sites are largely located in Central America, Southeast Asia and Asia (including Indonesia, India and Pakistan) as well as Iran and the Gulf states.

In the Pacific region, New Zealand is maintaining the closure of its listed sites while neighboring Australia has partially reopened them.

Read also: UNESCO's newest World Heritage Sites include locations in India, Canada and Japan

Europe seems to be the exception in the survey. Nearly all European countries are now permitting travelers to visit their World Heritage sites, though Spain, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Romania have only partially reopened their sites. Ireland's protected sites remain closed.

In Africa, the only countries to have greenlighted tourism to their World Heritage sites are Tunisia, Mali, Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania.

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