A Guide To The COVID-19 Economic Situation – BinaryOptions

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Resilience of tourism

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Updated April 7 2020

  • The outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 presents the tourism sector with a major and evolving challenge.
  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has strengthened its collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The two UN agencies met in Geneva to further advance a coordinated response to COVID-19.
  • UNWTO calls for solid international leadership and for tourism to be included as a priority in future recovery efforts.

UNWTO also calls upon the sector and travelers to address this challenge with sound judgment and proportionate measures.

Tourism is currently one of the most affected sectors and UNWTO has revised its 2020 forecast for international arrivals and receipts, though emphasizes that such any predictions are likely to be further revised.

Against a backdrop of travel restrictions being introduced, UNWTO underscores the importance of international dialogue and cooperation and emphasizes the COVID-19 challenge also represents an opportunity to show how solidarity can go beyond borders.

The tourism sector, like no other economic activity with social impact, is based on interaction amongst people. UNWTO has been guiding the tourism sector’s response on several levels:

  • By cooperating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the lead UN agency for the management of this outbreak;
  • by ensuring with WHO that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary impact on international travel and trade;
  • by standing in solidarity with affected countries; and
  • by emphasizing tourism’s proven resilience and by standing ready to support recovery.

UNWTO continues to coordinate closely with WHO and other United Nations agencies, and UNWTO’s Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili maintains regular contact with governments and tourism sector leaders.

Putting People First

The tourism sector is committed to putting people and their wellbeing first.

As the United Nations agency leading tourism’s contribution to sustainable development, UNWTO issued a joint statement with WHO, the lead UN agency for the global response to COVID-19.

Both organizations call for responsibility and heightened coordination to ensure that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary interference with international travel. Furthermore, tourism’s response needs to be measured and consistent, proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment.

Responsible Travel

Personal responsibility is the most important step that people can take to protect themselves and others. Travelers should familiarize themselves with the basic prevention practices that apply while travelling and in daily life (WHO advice for public). These include:

  • regular hand-washing,
  • normal cough etiquette,
  • postponing travel plans in cases of illness, and
  • avoiding contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.

It is essential to stay informed as the situation evolves, especially while travelling. Travelers should check regularly with WHO and other reliable resources for the latest updates and information issued by health and travel professionals.

Travelers are responsible not only for their own well-being but for the well-being of those around them. They should be aware of the symptoms and take all the recommended steps for personal hygiene.

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Stay safe and travel responsibly by following these simple but effective guidelines.

Impact on tourism

The tourism sector is currently one of the hardest-hit by the outbreak of COVID-19, with impacts on both travel supply and demand. This represents an added downside risk in the context of a weaker world economy, geopolitical, social and trade tensions, as well as uneven performance among major outbound travel markets.

Considering the evolving nature of the situation, it is too early to estimate the full impact of the COVID-19 on international tourism. For its initial assessment, UNWTO takes the SARS scenario of 2003 as a benchmark, factoring in the size and dynamics of global travel and current disruptions, the geographic spread of COVID-19 and its potential economic impact:

  • As of today, UNWTO estimates that in 2020 global international tourist arrivals could decline between 20-30%, down from an estimated growth of 3% to 4% forecast in early January 2020.
  • This could translate into a loss of US$ 30 to 50 billion in spending by international visitors (international tourism receipts).
  • Estimates for other world regions are currently premature in view of the rapidly evolving situation.

UNWTO underscores that any estimate must be treated with caution due to the volatile and uncertain evolution of the outbreak which might lead to further revisions.

Promoting Solidarity

UNWTO is observing the introduction of restrictions on travel. Where these are introduced, they must be based on the latest expert recommendations and have public health concerns as a main concern.

Within this context, UNWTO has stressed the importance of international dialogue and cooperation. This shared challenge also presents the global community, including the tourism sector, to work more closely together and show that solidarity can go beyond national borders.

Supporting Recovery

Small and medium sized enterprises (which make up around 80% of the tourism sector) are expected to be particularly impacted. This might affect millions of livelihoods across the world, including vulnerable communities who rely on tourism as a vehicle to spur their development and economic inclusion.

Due to its cross-cutting economic nature and deep social footprint, tourism is uniquely positioned to help societies and communities affected return to growth and stability. Over the years, the sector has consistently proven its resilience and its ability not only to bounce back as a sector but to lead the wider economic and social recovery. This depends on adequate political support and recognition.

Against this backdrop, UNWTO calls for:

  • financial and political support for recovery measures targeting the tourism sector in the most affected countries;
  • recovery measures and incentives to be planned and implemented in coordination with international development and donor organizations; and
  • tourism support to be included in the wider recovery plans and actions of affected economies.

As in the past, UNWTO will provide guidance and support for recovery measures of its members, the private and public tourism sector, including organizers of tourism events and fairs.

Guidelines and recommendations

The following links provide an overview of guidelines and other similar documents related to the COVID-19:

The Coronavirus disease 2020 (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in humans and can spread from person-to-person. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

World Health Organization Guidelines and recommendations

Other relevant recommendations


Stay Home Today #TravelTomorrow

Mitigation and Recovery

The Recommendations are the first output of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, established by UNWTO with high-level representatives from across the tourism sector and from within the wider United Nations system.

Tourism Arrivals Could Fall by 20-30%

Taking into account the unparalleled introduction of travel restrictions across the world, the United Nations specialized agency for tourism expects that international tourist arrivals will be down by 20% to 30% in 2020 when compared with 2020 figures.

Further cooperation in COVID-19 response

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili led a high- delegation to the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva to further advance the two agencies’ coordinated response to the worldwide Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

Calls on tourism to be part of recovery plans

In an update on the sector’s response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) offers a first assessment pointing to a decrease in international arrivals and receipts in 2020. Public health measures need to be implemented in ways that minimize any unnecessary disruption to travel and trade.


Recommendations for Action

This document was prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the contribution of the Members of the Tourism Crisis Committee comprised of UNWTO, representatives of its Members States, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the private sector – the UNWTO Affiliate Members, Airports Council International (ACI), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

#Travel Tomorrow


Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

This challenge is a global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination management solutions.

Global Tourism Crisis Committee

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) hosted a high-level virtual meeting yesterday, bringing together key UN agencies, the chairs of its Executive Council and Regional Commissions, and private sector leaders.

Impact assessment of the COVID-19 response

Updated 05 March 2020: International tourism has seen continued expansion, despite occasional shocks, demonstrating the sector’s strength and resilience and benefiting all regions in the world.

UNWTO: Health advice for tourists

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, many people around the world continue to travel: for leisure, for business and for vital humanitarian reasons.
Anyone travelling has a duty of care to themselves and to others.


World Health Day

In these challenging times, many of us are doing the right thing: staying at home. But not everyone has this option. Around the world, healthcare professionals are confronting the COVID-19 pandemic with professionalism, dedication and bravery.

Message from Madrid

We remain united in facing an unprecedented challenge. The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate.
It knows no borders and, as we have seen over recent days, nobody is immune.
We are all, therefore, grateful to all those who cannot stay safe at home right now

Secretary-General COVID-19 Statement

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) observes that full or partial travel restrictions have been – and continue to be – introduced across the world. These decisions are made with public health as the primary concern.

A joint statement on tourism and COVID-19

As the current outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, the World Health Organization and the World Tourism Organization are committed to working together in guiding the travel and tourism sectors’ response to COVID-19.

The containment of coronavirus COVID-19

Tourism’s continued growth and unique transformative potential is dependent upon stability and international solidarity. The sector must, therefore, always put people and their wellbeing first.

Statement on the COVID-19 outbreak

Tourism’s continued growth and unique transformative potential is dependent upon stability and international solidarity. The sector must, therefore, always put people and their wellbeing first.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), on the advice of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee on COVID-19, which met on 30 January 2020, declared outbreak of COVID-19 constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Important note on naming the coronavirus disease 2020

Key Economic Facts About COVID-19

As people and economies around the world reel from the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), one thing is clear: facts are at a premium. The value of trusted data has never been more in evidence than in the months since the onset of COVID-19 in China at the end of 2020, and its rapid spread around the world.

I have been struck time and time again by how much my colleagues want to contribute to finding solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, we are not qualified to develop a vaccine or to treat those who are suffering. However, economists at the University of Chicago, with their grounding in rigorous research and commitment to public policy, are uniquely positioned to offer insights into the ongoing economic challenges occasioned by this historic health crisis.

So, we decided that what BFI could contribute is a set of facts about COVID-19 that we believe can help people better understand its consequences and potential policy responses. Specifically, we aim to deliver key economic insights that are often missing from policy discussions. The economic implications of COVID-19 are significant and varied, and we address a range of questions: What is the economic benefit of social distancing? What would the impacts of universal testing for COVID-19 be for mortality rates and economic outcomes? Which sectors will be hardest hit? What do the latest stock market gyrations tell us about the expectations for growth? What can China teach us about the economic implications of widescale lockdowns? The answers to these and other important questions are addressed in the following selected facts.

This is a dynamic effort. And in this signal social and economic period, BFI will continue to develop, update, and communicate facts as part of our contribution to minimizing COVID-19’s harm to people and society.

Please visit this page regularly for updates.

Michael Greenstone
Director of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics
Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics

Public Health & the Economy

By reducing coronavirus deaths over the next six months, social distancing is projected to increase the well-being of Americans by more than $8 trillion.


As the United States and the rest of the world grapple with COVID-19, the most reliable policy response seems to be social distancing, which itself imposes substantial costs on economies and people’s well-being. Indeed, people have begun to question whether the costs of social distancing exceed its benefits and are therefore too great. Here, we estimate the economic benefits of social distancing due to reducing mortality rates.

Panel A is derived from Ferguson et al. (2020) and reports the projected daily deaths in the United States due to COVID-19, including the impacts of overcrowding. It is apparent that the moderate social distancing scenario (roughly consistent with current US policy) is projected to greatly reduce the number of deaths, relative to the “no policy” scenario. The period where the daily number of deaths under the distancing scenario exceeds the “no policy” number of deaths is because of the lower rates of immunity in the population due to distancing. After September 1, the number of daily deaths in the two scenarios is equal. In total, these projections indicate that the moderate social distancing scenario will save 1.1 million lives by avoiding new infections and an additional 600,000 lives by avoiding overcrowding of hospital intensive care units.

Panel B shows the monetized benefits of saving these lives, which total $7.9 trillion, or roughly $60,000 per US household. About 90% of the monetized benefits are projected to accrue to people age 50 or older. Importantly, the benefits we compute are in the trillions of dollars because they capture the total value Americans place on remaining alive: not just the income they earn, but also the value they place on leisure, spending time with friends and family, and all other activities. Even so, the $7.9 trillion is likely an underestimate, because it does not account for social distancing’s impact on reducing uncertainty about mortality impacts, the potential for reducing morbidity rates, and improving quality of medical care for non-COVID-19 medical problems

Universal testing, combined with more targeted quarantine measures for positive cases, could reduce the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


We extend the baseline SEIR infectious disease epidemiology model to understand the potential role of broad based testing in guiding government quarantine policies. Reducing quarantine measures by themselves would increase mortality. However, our framework demonstrates that randomly testing asymptomatic individuals and then targeting quarantine measures to those who test positive to COVID-19 can deliver the same mortality as severe quarantine measures, with a less devastating impact on the economy.

By increasing workloads to 60 hours per week, the US healthcare workforce can provide 60% more care from nurses and respiratory therapists, but only 16% more care from physicians.

Epidemiological models predict that COVID-19 will generate extraordinary demand for medical care, raising questions about whether the US healthcare system has sufficient capital (ventilators and ICU beds) and labor (doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers) to provide needed care.[1] To gauge the surge capacity of the US healthcare workforce, the authors calculate how much additional care could be provided if clinicians increased their workloads to 60 hours per week.[2] They use data from the 2020 American Community Survey, which surveys 1% of the US population each year, and records workers’ occupation and weekly hours.[3]

The table below shows national-level statistics, with a focus on three occupations: physicians, registered nurses, and respiratory therapists, who provide intubation and ventilation management for COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulties.[4] The US has 237 physicians per 100,000 people, who work the equivalent of 4.3 12-hour shifts per week, and thus provide 1,022 clinician-shifts per 100,000 people per week. If physicians increased their capacity to 60 hours, or five 12-hour shifts, per week, they could provide an additional 163 clinician-shifts, or 16% more care. Registered nurses provide a baseline of 2,111 clinician-shifts per 100,000 people per week. Because they work fewer hours at baseline, they could increase their capacity by an additional 1,276 clinician-shifts per 100,000 people or 60% by working five shifts per week. Respiratory therapists’ surge capacity is proportionally similar.


Surge capacity varies substantially by region. Physician surge capacity, measured in clinician-shifts per 100,000 people per week, is nearly twice as large in the Northeast as the Midwest or Deep South. Surge capacity for registered nurses is highest in the Midwest, and lowest in the Southwest. Respiratory therapist surge capacity is highest in the Great Plains and the South. The Southwest has relative low surge capacity for all three occupations.

Some clinicians have the training to care for COVID-19 patients. Others could be cross-trained to provide this care. Even clinicians who are not appropriate for cross-training can fill in for coworkers who have been shifted to COVID-19 care, as could retired workers who have training and experience but have higher COVID-19 mortality risk.[5] As some states have already started doing,[6] easing licensing restrictions can give hospitals the flexibility to better cope with this unprecedented spike in demand.

[1] Ferguson, Neil M., et al. March 16, 2020. “Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand.” London: Imperial College COVID19 Response Team.
[2] The authors choose 60 hours because this is the average amount that physicians report working per week during the ages when they are in training. This training is notorious for requiring long hours, but these hours are apparently manageable for a period of months or a few years.
[3] The authors restrict their analysis to those working in hospitals and physicians’ offices, as these industries are most relevant for COVID-19 care.
[4] Data on additional occupations are shown in the Appendix.
[5] https://khn.org/news/help-wanted-retired-doctors-and-nurses-don-scrubs-again-in-coronavirus-fight/
[6] E.g., https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S2615 and http://www.op.nysed.gov/COVID-19Volunteers.html

Areas with higher Trump vote shares perceived less risk to COVID-19 early in the pandemic, and practiced less social distancing.


Since the purpose of social distancing is to reduce the spread of a virus, in this case COVID-19, it matters greatly whether people believe in the need to take such precautions. If people infer lower risk from the same set of facts (e.g., population density, case counts and deaths), they may impose unnecessary health risks on others. Given the political divide in the US and how individuals consume news and information, the authors of this new research examine whether political partisanship affects the risk perceptions of individuals during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

The authors use a number of measures to explore the effects of political partisanship on pandemic risk perceptions and, among other revealing insights (regarding, for example, pandemic-related internet searches), they find that while a higher incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases results in a reduction in daily distance traveled, this effect is muted in counties that favored Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. For example, with a doubling of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in a county, the percent change in average daily change in distance traveled falls by 4.75 percentage points. However, for this same doubling in cases in a county, a one standard deviation increase in Trump voter share mutes this effect by 0.5 percentage points. Similar patterns are revealed when the authors examine the change in daily visits to non-essential businesses—residents in counties that favored Trump took more non-essential trips.

Global Economy

Pulling together official statistics with other datasets offers early insights into the effect of COVID-19 on China’s economy.


On January 23, the Chinese government locked down the city of Wuhan (Hubei Province). In subsequent days, similar measures were taken in other cities in Hubei and throughout China. This note offers some preliminary gauge on the effect of the measures taken to protect public health on economic activity in China. We will make use of three data sources. First, some official data on industrial output already exists. Second, we make use of data on trucking flows to measure the flow of goods across China. Third, Baidu Map data allow us to estimate the effect on services and worker movements within China.

We begin with official data provided by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The most recent data (as of March 23, 2020) is from February 2020. Figure 1 shows that industrial value added fell by 4.3% and 25.9% in January and February of 2020 on a year-on-year basis. If the counterfactual growth in absence of the epidemic is 5.7%, the average growth in 2020, the slump would be even more dramatic.

An alternative data on industrial output is data on shipment of goods across Chinese cities. We have data from a private trucking company that provides logistical services to truck drivers. This company, G7, has real-time GPS data from two million trucks, accounting for about 10 percent of all trucks operating in China. We aggregated the movement of trucks in and out of a provincial capital by day. Figure 2 plots the daily truck flows between provincial capital cities, with the beginning day of the year normalized to one. The decline of truck flows before Wuhan lockdown captures the slowdown associated with the coming Chinese New Year. Strikingly, the truck data suggest that goods flows between Wuhan and the other provincial capital cities remained at a very low level and did not recover at all since the lockdown.


The next data we show are flows of people within and between cities. Here, we use indices of movements of people provided by Baidu. This data is based on “location-based services” (LBS) in Baidu Map. Figure 3 plots within-city travel intensity, with the beginning day of the year normalized to one. Panel A and B plot the data for 2020 and 2020, respectively. The red bar in Panel A marks the 2020 Chinese New Year. The black bar in Panel B marks Wuhan lockdown, which is two days before the 2020 Chinese New Year and exactly precedes the free fall of within-city travels in Hubei. The index dropped by more than half within a three-day window and remained low for six weeks, only to pick up recently until the mid-March. The indices outside Hubei were picking up more rapidly and have almost reached the level in early January.

The movement of people across Chinese cities was more severely affected, as shown in Figure 4. The travels to/from cities in Hubei were nearly frozen. The cross-city travels that do not involve Hubei cities also experienced sharp declines, though to a lesser extent than those involving Hubei cities. In mid-March, the cross-city travels outside Hubei have fully recovered to its early January level.

In sum, the economic impact of lockdown on China is large, severe, and perhaps still mounting despite various massive economic and financial policies that are rolled out by top authorities in Beijing in a timely fashion[1]. China is facing a daunting challenge for its economic recovery at this point, especially because the deteriorating pandemic situation across the globe is bringing an almost complete halt to the export sector in China, and could make it difficult for Chinese firms to access critical inputs provided by firms outside of China.

[1] View related white paper, “Dealing with a Liquidity Crisis: Economic and Financial Policies in China during the Coronavirus Outbreak.”

Power demand in Italy has fallen 28% so far. Such data can be a real-time indicator of coming economic damage.

COVID-19: guidance for employees

Updated 7 April 2020

© Crown copyright 2020

This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: [email protected]

Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.

This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Going to work

You should work from home unless it is impossible for you to do so.

Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if you operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

Staying at home

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

Sick pay

To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP ) page for more information.

SSP start date

Proof of sickness

If you’re self-employed or not eligible for SSP

If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home.

Furloughed workers

If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19 ). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.

You could get paid 80% of your wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

Claiming benefits

Whether you are currently in or out of work, if you are on a low income and affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 , you will be able to access the full range of the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

From 6 April we are increasing the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for 1 year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.

If you have COVID-19 or are staying at home

You are now able to claim Universal Credit, and if required can access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a jobcentre.

If you are self-employed

You are able to claim Universal Credit, providing you meet the usual eligibility criteria.

To support you with the economic impact of the outbreak, and allow you to follow government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing, from 6 April the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change will apply to all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak.

New claimants will not need to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.

Support for rent costs

You should check your eligibility for Universal Credit, which is available for people in and out of work. Support for rental costs will be paid through Universal Credit.

From April, we are increasing Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of market rents. This applies to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.

A Guide To The COVID-19 Economic Situation – BinaryOptions

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