As the outbreak of the Corona Virus disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are committed to working together in guiding the travel and tourism sectors’ response to COVID-19.

“WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and the global community on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak,” a joint statement released on Wednesday said.

“The tourism sector is fully committed to putting people and their well-being first. International cooperation is vital for ensuring the sector can effectively contribute to the containment of COVID-19,” said the statement.

The two organizations believe that “tourism’s response needs to be measured and consistent, proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment, involving every part of the tourism value chain – public bodies, private companies and tourists, in line with WHO’s overall guidance and recommendations.”

However, the organizations warn against excessive measures. “Travel restrictions going beyond these may cause unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector,” it noted.

Meanwhile at this challenging time, UNWTO and WHO join the international community in standing in solidarity with affected countries, the statement concluded.