Top 20 safe holiday destinations during the coronavirus pandemic
Many European countries are opening their borders, flights are resuming, hotels are waiting for their first customers, and tourism seems to be slowly coming back to life. If you are thinking about vacation, here are the top 20 safest holiday destinations during the coronavirus pandemic, where you are very unlikely to get sick.
The European Organization for the Best Destinations (EBD), which is part of the European Commission's EDEN Network, has compiled a list of the 20 safest destinations for travel and tourism, due to coronavirus. The list taken over by Forbes includes several cities in Poland, Croatia, Greece, but also the city of Sibiu, the only destination in Romania.
To help those who want to travel to Europe, the European Organization for the Best Destinations has presented a list of 20 areas least affected by Covid-19: Tbilisi - Georgia,
Corfu - Greece,
Cavtat - Croatia,
Preveza - Greece,
Alentejo - Portugal,
Batumi - Georgia,
Zagreb - Croatia,
Algarve - Portugal,
Sibiu - Romania,
Kotor - Montenegro,
Rijeka - Croatia,
Warsaw - Poland,
Vienna - Austria,
Bohinj - Slovenia,
Gdansk - Poland ,
Vilnius - Lithuania,
Riga - Latvia,
Wild Taiga - Finland.
Every day, almost every country in the world counts its sick or dead because of the new coronavirus. Brazil has now become the second most affected country, after the United States. There are few places that have not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. But there are, however, some last "points of resistance" on Earth.
Africa, a continent that seemed spared for a time of pandemic, now has no "untouched" country after including the isolated Lesotho, a high-altitude country, practically an enclave in South Africa, has already announced the first cases, in the middle of the month May.
However, some countries seem to be exempt from this wave. Of the 193 UN-recognized states, only ten have reported no cases of COVID-19.
Among them is the Samoa Islands, which has a population of 250,000. Affected by a measles epidemic that took the lives of 70 children, at the end of 2019, this archipelago in Oceania quickly declared a state of emergency, closed its schools and airport. According to France Info, the head of state ordered the population a period of fasting and prayer.
North of Australia, Vanuatu, a country in the southern Pacific Ocean, made up of about 80 islands stretching 1,300 kilometers, has not reported any cases of COVID-19. Devastated by Cyclone Harold on April 6, the small state was reluctant to accept help from abroad, for fear that this aid would bring with it another catastrophe: the coronavirus.
Another pandemic-spared Pacific state: the Solomon Islands and its 653,000 inhabitants. The 12 main islands and the 1,000 islets surrounding them have so far had no cases of coronavirus.
Micronesia, a federal state that occupies part of the Caroline Islands archipelago off the Philippines, is also part of these end-of-the-world territories that have so far escaped the coronavirus.
The same is true of the Republic of Nauru, a slightly larger island-state than Monaco, lost somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. With 160 tourists a year, it is one of the least visited places in the world. The island banned travelers from China, South Korea, Italy and then Iran, however, and suspended flights from Fiji, Kiribati and Marshall Islands.
Further west, between the Philippines and Indonesia, the Palau Islands, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, have also benefited from their geographical isolation. Despite coronavirus contamination in late northern Mariana Islands in the east, the government has not reported any cases of COVID-19. Instead, this small country is facing significant supply shortages. Prior to the pandemic, United Airlines had six flights a week between Guam and Palau. Now there is only one flight a week.
The Marshall Islands, made up of volcanoes and coral atolls and populated by only 75,000 inhabitants, have also remained untouched by the coronavirus.
No cases have been reported in the island republic of Kiribati, with its 33 atolls, located between Polynesia and Micronesia.
All of these countries are spread across the Pacific Ocean, sometimes thousands of miles from a large city. This geographical isolation, which does not usually bring them benefits, has now proven to be a lifeline, especially as there are countries that usually do not have very strong health systems. There are small and fragile populations, which do not have, for example, artificial ventilation devices. If an epidemic broke out, their population could be decimated.
Two "free" coronavirus countries should be viewed with reluctance
There are two other countries that, so far, have not declared any case of contamination with the new coronavirus: North Korea and Turkmenistan. In both cases, the information must be viewed with reluctance, because it is governed by authoritarian regimes, too reluctant to communicate, especially when it comes to recognizing an epidemic.
In fact, North Korea placed its military forces in isolation for 30 days, according to the head of the American troops stationed in South Korea.
In Turkmenistan, you are not even allowed to talk about coronavirus. The state media remains silent and the term does not appear in medical leaflets distributed in schools, hospitals and workplaces, according to Chroniques du Turkménistan, one of the few independent sources of information whose website is blocked in Turkmenistan but is hosted by the organization Reporters Without Borders.
These are the countries where the restaurants are still open and you can live your old life during the coronavirus lockdown
There are currently over 6 billion people living on lockdown, over 71,950 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, 33,633 confirmed deaths and out those infected, around 5% or 26,737 are either in serious or critical condition.
While those numbers are already a serious wakeup for local governments, some countries are saying there is no need to panic.
Take Belarus as an example. The president, Alexander Lukashenko refuses to cancel anything and says vodka and saunas will cure any COVID-19 symptoms. Very few measures have been enforced to curb coronavirus in Belarus and instead, people are being urged to drink vodka and go to saunas. On top of that, all the sporting events are taking place as usual and this picture tells everything about the mood on the ground.
The football organizers have said they do not intend to postpone any matches or to cancel the season. President Alexander Lukashenko took part in an ice hockey match last week - declaring that sport "is the best anti-virus remedy".
Another country, Sweden, is the only EU country that has not yet introduced strict quarantine measures. Although the Prime Minister of the Scandinavian kingdom, Stephen Leuven, urged citizen to mentally prepare for an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19, the Swedish authorities are in no hurry to limit public life.
According to Spiegel Online, the cafes and restaurants of Stockholm are packed to capacity - perhaps now visitors have been obliged to sit at their tables and not crowd around the bar. More recently, mass gatherings of people within 500 people were allowed in the country, which many theaters and concert halls used to sell tickets for 499 spectators.
The chief epidemiologist in Sweden, Anders Tegnell, who heads the public health agency, responsible for these decisions, continues to insist that "the population should be ill with the virus." At the same time, his British and Dutch colleagues still refused this approach. According to Johns Hopkins University, already 3069 patients with coronavirus have been identified in Sweden, 105 patients have died. Now, 500 intensive care beds have been deployed throughout the country, although experts admit that this is at least three times less than might be needed in a critical situation.
Another country, Brazil, called the pandemic a momentary, minor problem and saying strong measures to contain it are unnecessary. The Brazilian Presidentm Jair Bolsonaro told reporters that he feels Brazilians’ natural immunity will protect the nation.
“The Brazilian needs to be studied. He doesn’t catch anything. You see a guy jumping into sewage, diving in, right? Nothing happens to him. I think a lot of people were already infected in Brazil, weeks or months ago, and they already have the antibodies that help it not proliferate,” Bolsonaro said. “I’m hopeful that’s really a reality.”
The number of COVID-19 cases approach 4,000, deaths top 100. And while he believe that the virus will be vanquished by a cocktail of drugs and Brazil’s tropical climate, analysts say a more calculated political gamble may underlie his increasingly defiant position.
In Singapore, tourism receipts rose to S$27.1 billion (US$19 billion) in 2019 based on preliminary estimates, from S$26.9 billion the year before. Even though tourist arriving in Singapore must be placed in quarantine for 14 days, all the restaurants, pubs, gym, hotel are open. Singapore, as with many other countries that did not took a more drastic approach during the epidemic and people are now living their daily life as other countries once did.
No one knows which approach will work better, as we haven’t seen anything like this before so only time will tell. Bemorepanda has published a research by the Imperial College London (UK) with three different scenarios of the coronavirus epidemic here.
Super offer! Cypriot government pays for your holiday if you become infected with the new coronavirus in Cyprus
The operation to attract tourists in times of pandemic has begun. With more and more people preferring to stay home this summer for fear of the new coronavirus, countries that base their economy on tourism are doing everything they can to persuade them to travel. The Cypriot authorities have announced a new measure: they will cover the cost of the holiday for tourists tested positive after entering this country.
The Cypriot government announced on Thursday that it will cover the cost of the holiday for any tourist who will contract the new coronavirus in Cyprus.
Authorities have pledged to cover the cost of accommodation, food, drink and medicines for travelers tested positive for coronavirus after entering Cyprus. Tourists will only bear the cost of the transfer to the airport and the return ticket to the country of origin.
A hospital with a capacity of 100 beds will only be made available to foreign visitors who contract the virus and extra beds can be provided if needed, according to the government.
For travelers with severe symptoms, authorities will provide 112 seats for intensive care and 200 medical ventilators.
A number of 500 rooms in "quarantine hotels" will be offered to close contacts of people infected with coronavirus. And this number can be supplemented as needed.
The hotel room where a tourist who contracted the virus was accommodated will be carefully disinfected before being used again.
According to Johns Hopkins University, 939 cases of Covid-19 and 17 deaths from the disease have been confirmed in Cyprus.
Important tips to help you reduce the risk of infection on any trip.
The World Health Organization and the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you stay home and not go anywhere until the epidemic is over.
However, if the trip cannot be postponed in any way, then in this case they also have recommendations that will reduce the risk of infection. Here are the main ones.
- On trains and planes, take the same steps as in other public places - avoid close contact with other people and wear a mask on your face.
- Since it is unlikely that you will be able to wash the mask, buy a few disposable ones and change them periodically.
- Clean your hands as often as possible. Take with you a sufficient amount of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). It is not as effective as hand washing, but it is better than nothing. Remember that you need to grind the brush for at least 30 seconds.
- It is especially important to wash your hands after using the toilet, before eating, after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Try not to touch anything with your hands, especially handles, buttons and switches. Do not touch the face - eyes, nose, and mouth. Touch surrounding objects as little as possible.
- Try to keep a distance with other people. If possible, choose a way of traveling to be less in contact with anyone. Ideally, drive alone, so the risk is minimal.
- If you feel that you want to sneeze or cough, do it right - covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or disposable towel, which should immediately be thrown into a garbage container.
- Disinfect surfaces that people often touch, such as the armrests of seats in public transport, door handles in hotels, various buttons, and so on.
- Do not eat or drink in public transport. Although it is now believed that coronavirus cannot be transmitted through food, precaution will not hurt - in order to eat, you will need to remove the mask. It is better to have a snack before you hit the road.
- Use contactless payments, for example, using your smartphone or a supporting card with NFC.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that in buses, trains, and airplanes you will be in a limited space and may become infected if someone sitting 2 meters away has the virus. Although, during air travel, the risk of inhaling infectious particles of COVID-19 is slightly reduced, since air is filtered on board. But if a patient is near you, on-board filters are unlikely to help you.