Due to Corona virus, the entire world had been in lockdown and brought to a grinding halt for the past few months. The tourism industry suffered the most fatal blow due to closure of state and international borders, aviation industry, hotels, and restaurants shutting down due to lockdown restrictions imposed by various state governments all over the world. Currently, some governments have lifted up some restrictions for people as well travelers.
But the most important question here is ‘Is it safe to travel again?’. Without a vaccine available and the uncontrollable nature of COVID-19, experts across the world have laid down certain rules and regulations that people need to follow whenever they go out of their houses. Similarly, travelers will also need to follow the same rules as well as any other rule or regulation imposed by the government of the state they are visiting. There are some places in the world which are now open to tourism.
There are some states that have been able to control the spread of the virus and can be considered safe enough to trip with a travel buddy. For full-time solo travelers, getting their vacation plans rudely interrupted by the travel ban imposed by the majority of the governments was a nightmare. Even though the current situation is certainly not back to normal, a new-normal amid corona virus has been achieved for few states. Travel and tourism industry is now open in some countries.
If you are wondering to go on a trip with a travel partner, you can certainly plan to do so but with proper precautions in place. To help you here, you may go through the below-mentioned list of top 10 destinations that are safe to travel amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Read the full article to find out why these are our top picks and why these states are safe to travel to as well as can be included in your travel bucket list.
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Safest Places or Destinations to Travel To Amidst COVID-19
Below-mentioned countries, cities, or places have opened their borders for tourism. Though some rules & regulations are there which tourists need to follow to visit and stay at these destinations. Each Government or country or state has its own different sets of regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19 in their country or state.
Goa – Goa had one of the least numbers of COVID-19 cases in India and the state government has now opened its borders for domestic tourism. While earlier a COVID-19 test was mandatory for people entering this beautiful state, under the revised SOP that requirement has been removed. If sandy beaches, beautiful weather, and breathtaking colonial architecture warm your heart, Goa is definitely the right travel destination for you to kick start your post-lockdown travel journey.
Croatia – While there are several beautiful countries located in the European Union, very few can match the beauty of Croatia. If you are aching for some sand, sun, and surf, Croatia is definitely the right place to visit for you. You need to bring a COVID-19 negative health certificate prepared within 48 hours of arrival in Croatia. But if you fail to do so, you would have to be self-isolated for the next 14 days. Tourists also have to submit to the Croatian government a travel registration form citing the reason for your arrival to the country and furnish proof of accommodation.
Maldives – Maldives has managed to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus quite effectively with only 2500 cases till now. Maldives is also the first South-Asian country to open its borders to tourists and remove all travel related restrictions from July 1st. With the tagline ‘The sun will shine in Maldives again.’, the country is providing a number of relaxations to the tourists including no COVID-19 health test certificate or self-quarantine mandatory requirements.
Turkey – Turkey is the 6th most popular country for tourists in the whole world and in 2019 itself, 45 million travelers visited this beautiful country. And even though COVID-19 hampered this tourist season greatly, the county has once again reopened its borders for the visitors. The government has introduced the ‘safe tourism’ concept in order to attract more people. Under this program, the government has invited over 40 foreign journalists and ambassadors to check and approve the safety measures at various tourist places. This has been done to boost the confidence of the travelers and help them feel safe & secure while visiting Turkey.
Vietnam – Vietnam is also one of the few countries that managed to curb the spread of corona virus perfectly. While some of the richest countries in the world failed to control this highly contagious virus, Vietnam managed to keep the infection rate at a minimum through effective methods such as contact tracing and widespread testing. And that is why Vietnam is one of our top picks for the safest countries you can travel currently. Presently, Vietnam has reopened its hotels, all tourism attraction places, and resumed its flight and other public transportation services. However, you have to submit a health certificate and undergo a mandatory COVID-19 health check if you wish to visit Vietnam right now.
Sicily – Italy was one of the countries worst impacted by corona virus initially, but things have improved a lot lately. The number of cases is in control and tourism has slowly been opening up. To revive the tourism of Sicily which is easily Italy’s top tourist attractions, the government is offering various incentives to tourists such as discounts on hotels and flights. In fact, the government has planned to cover ⅓ rd of the total hotel expenses of tourists and ½ of the flight expenses. Various of Sicily’s archaeological sites and museum’s entry fees have also been waived off and the travelers can avail these offers by visiting the tourism website of Sicily.
Ireland – Ireland is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world and in 2019 alone, over 11 million international tourists traveled to this beautiful European country. And even though corona virus severely affected the tourism industry of Ireland, things have finally started to show up. All the tourist places such as beaches, monuments and parks reopened in Ireland on May 18th. However, all tourists coming to Ireland should fill up the public health passenger locator form and agree to self-isolate for 14 days.
Austria – Austria is currently slowly reopening its tourism sector and museums, restaurants, hotels, and other recreational facilities have resumed operations. In fact, Austria has also opened its borders with several countries which is great news. While tourists have to mandatory submit their COVID-19 health certificate before entering Austria, it is also advised by the authorities to wear masks all the time while you are in the county. Austria is a beautiful country with the main attractions being palaces, lakes, art galleries, extraordinary music, and breathtaking architecture. If you are interested in art and theatre, do not miss to visit the National Theatre in Vienna, also known as Burg Theater. Built in 1741, it is a great juxtaposition of art, history, architecture, and technology.
Greece – Currently, due to COVID-19, only 20% of the hotels in Greece have reopened while the rest is going to open after the situation is stabilized. With breathtaking architecture, azure sea and beautiful islands, Greece is certainly every traveler’s paradise. Greece’s government also managed to keep the corona virus spread controlled with only around 3800 cases and less than 200 deaths at the time of writing this article. From 1st July, all the travel restrictions have been lifted by the government here and flights have resumed to local airports including Santorini, Greece’s top tourist destination. And while the pandemic is far from over, you can visit this beautiful country by taking precautions such as maintaining social distancing, washing hands frequently, and wearing masks all the time while you are outside.
Portugal – The last country on our list is Portugal. While the cafes, bars, museums, art galleries, and national monuments were opened on May 18, the beaches finally reopened in Portugal on June 6. Compared to its neighboring countries, Portugal managed to contain the spread of the virus quite effectively. While it can be said that traveling to Portugal is safe, there are few requirements which people need to follow here currently. These include wearing masks, no gathering of more than 10 people at one place and closure of restaurants, cafes, and bars by 8 p.m. There is also a “clean & safe” seal launched by the Portugal government which is a stamp of approval to help tourists identify establishments that have adhered to the hygiene and safety norms issued by the Portugal government. With exquisite beaches, warm water, proper safety norms, and awesome architecture, Portugal is definitely a great choice for your next getaway.
Other than these places, you can visit island countries around the world especially the countries or islands in the Caribbean where borders have been opened for tourism by the respective Governments and the spread of corona virus is low and/or have been controlled.
Precautions to Be Taken While Traveling During Corona virus
The most important suggestion by any expert during the current times of corona virus is to maintain a safe social distance when you are around humans. Travelers and tourists also need to follow this to keep themselves as well as people around them safe. Other precautions that you need to follow while traveling to minimize the risk of getting infected by the virus are given below:
Consider your medical history before traveling – People over the age of 60 and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are more at risk of getting infected by COVID-19. If you fall into any of the two categories, our advice would be to postpone your travel plans for now. While the chances of infection are the same for everyone, the symptoms can get more complicated and fatal for these people
Frequent hand wash – This is one of the most important precautions you can take to save yourself from getting infected by the virus. Wash your hands frequently and wash them well. Merely splashing hands with water or quickly washing them with soap won’t suffice. Ensure that you wash your hands properly for at least 20 to 30 seconds. If soap is not available near you, you can use a hand sanitizer with a composition of at least 60% alcohol. Make sure to wash your hands when you take any public transport or touch things in public places.
Always wear a mask in public places – Don’t forget to wear a mask while you are outside. This will not only save you from getting infected by the virus but save other people as well in case you do get infected. Wearing a mask at all times ensures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus very effectively. In fact, many countries have made wearing masks a necessary requirement in public places. If you are not wearing a mask, it is important to cover your mouth with your elbow while you sneeze or cough.
Avoid going to crowded places – Going to crowded touristy places will increase the chance of you getting infected by the virus significantly and hence, must be avoided during these times. To skip the crowd you can follow certain steps such as pre-booking of entry tickets for different places, arriving a bit early or later than the normal rush time, visiting popular tourist sites during the week and not weekends, and traveling off-season.
Buy travel or corona virus insurance – It’s important that you buy travel insurance during this time of uncertainty. Travel insurance will help to cover your financial losses in case your flight gets canceled at the last moment or you simply choose not to travel because of the rise in cases. Further, in case you travel, you will also be covered for any medical expenses that arise if you contract any disease overseas. Buying travel insurance will help you in covering most part of the cost and ease your financial burden in case you get sick. However, some of the insurance companies do not cover the treatment of pandemic or epidemic diseases, thus, it is important that you do proper research before zeroing down on any prospect.
Traveling is fun but for avid tourists, it’s as essential as breathing or eating. If you are someone who really lives for traveling and wants to explore new places even during the ongoing corona virus crisis, the above-mentioned destinations are the most ideal and safest picks for you. However, it is essential that you follow all the safety precautions during your trip to protect yourself and others from the deadly corona virus.
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