Monitoring World Heritage site closures
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many governments have taken measures to restrict movements of people and access to certain areas.
This includes the closure of natural and cultural World Heritage sites in the 167 countries they are located in. Please consider the following when reviewing the statistics:
- The World Heritage Convention has been ratified by 194 States Parties but only 167 countries have properties on UNESCO’s World Heritage List;
- The List includes a total of 1,154 natural, cultural and mixed World Heritage sites;
- In some countries with federal systems there may be a different approach for certain areas within the country;
- For some types of sites such as city centres, urban ensembles or agricultural landscapes access may be still possible to certain public areas of the sites, while other parts of the site may be closed, including site museums, visitor centres, religious or emblematic buildings;
- For some countries, sites are being re-opened;
- While sites are closed, monitoring activities by site management may continue, especially for natural sites, including by anti-poaching units, monitoring by satellite images or drones and emergency interventions, for example in case of fires.
Map on the closure of World Heritage sites due to Covid-19
have closed sites totally
kept their sites open
with partial closure
The latest data collected from the 167 States Parties with World Heritage properties show that 114 countries (= 68%) have kept their sites open, whereas 21 countries (= 13%) have closed sites totally. For 31 countries (= 19%) partial closure has been indicated, which includes countries that are re-opening World Heritage places slowly after the crisis.
The percentages above reflect the percentage of countries, which have their WH sites closed/opened or partially opened. They do not represent percentages of WH properties.
The trend lines of the percentage of countries, which have their World Heritage properties closed/opened or partially opened
This information is based on the major trends observed at the national levels, and will be further updated on a weekly basis, as new data comes in.
We would like to thank all our partners in the field for their collaboration.
More information on UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 in the field of culture can be found on the UNESCO