When it comes to traveling the world freely, coronavirus has managed to take the wind out of everyone’s sails. Even with the strongest passport in the world, — the Japanese passport with visa-free access to 191 destinations — many countries currently aren’t letting people in or have significant Covid-related restrictions.
According to Kayak.com, as of Jan. 31, 50 countries in the world are completely closed to anyone other than their citizens; these include Indonesia, Thailand, Belgium and Vietnam. Ninety countries are partially open, including the U.S., Australia and much of Europe, and 75 countries have no travel restrictions, these include the U.K., Mexico and Costa Rica.
So, when the pandemic ends, which countries have the strongest passports?
The Henley Passport Index ranks all of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The index covers 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.
Henley & Partners, a global adviser of citizenship planning for internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors, uses data from the International Air Transport Authority to compile the index.
Japan has held its top spot since 2018. Singapore is second. At the other end of the global mobility spectrum, the Afghan passport remains the world’s weakest, while Iraq and Syria don't fare much better. The U.S. was No. 1 in 2006 and 2014, but has declined since, now ranking 7th, along with several other countries that have visa-free access to 185 places.
Here are the best passports in the world, not including Coronavirus-related travel bans.