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Safe Country Index
Data Source for COVID stats: Our World in Data
After months of uncertainty amid the global pandemic, optimism is again on the rise. Countries are slowly reopening their borders and people are carefully looking to travel again.
All eyes are now on the tourism industry’s next steps, whether and how they’ll be proactive in courting anxious travellers. In this list, we’ve detailed numerous destinations around the world that have officially been deemed safe by both the European Union and the United Kingdom.
We’ll lightly touch upon the criteria and methodology being employed in determining the following countries’ safeness in terms of COVID-19 containment and transmission.
The following lists are subject to updates in accordance with the ongoing review by the Council of the EU and by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
COVID-19 safe countries’ criteria
The European Union
In determining which non-EU countries are deemed safe in terms of COVID-19 transmission and containment, the European Council has enacted three sets of criteria as follows:
1.Epidemiological criteria. A country must demonstrate its ability to significantly decrease and stabilize the spread of the coronavirus for a sustained period of time. Indicative to this are reduced cases of new infections, hospitalizations as well as the number of patients being treated in intensive care.
2. Sufficient health system capacity. A country must have adequate occupancy rates for Intensive Care Units, which among others entails sufficient numbers of hospital beds, required pharmaceutical products as well as qualified and sufficient numbers of medical staff to care for infected patients.
3. Appropriate monitoring capacity. A country must have proper testing centers to hold large-scale testing capacity to detect and monitor cases of infection. Furthermore, the testing facilities must be complemented with adequate contact tracing capabilities to isolate and hinder the further spread of infections.
The United Kingdom
Through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the UK determines which countries are safe for ‘all but essential’ travel. Currently, the FCO is advising against all non-essential international travel to some countries and territories. If you would like to learn of the FCO’s assessment of a particular country, you may do so here.
Safe travel countries list
The European Union
As aforementioned, the European Commission has urged member countries to lift travel restrictions and thereby granting freedom of movement and tourism across all of Europe on June 15.
On January 28, 2021, the EU Council updated the list of third countries the residents of which can enter the Schengen Area, excluding Japan and adding no new countries.
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
At the same time, the Council also advises the Member States to lift the current entry ban for the residents of the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, once the latter reopen their borders for EU citizens.
The United Kingdom
Currently, all travel corridors for people arriving in England are suspended. Furthermore, the UK authorities have introduced a red list of countries that are banned from entering the UK. Those who are not British or Irish nationals and do not possess residency rights will be refused entry to the UK if departing from a country on the red list. Learn more about the UK travel restrictions and quarantine procedures here.
Should you book your summer 2021 holiday now?
While it may seem a bit premature to even consider booking your summer vacation for 2021, but in light of the times and the uncertainty, planning for your next summer vacay way ahead of time might just pay off big time in the long run. Due to the new normal and everything it entails, numerous hotels and airlines are offering greater flexibility than ever before to entice potential customers.
Depending on the policy of individual hotels and airlines, this greater flexibility usually translates to free cancellation of both planes and hotels up until typically a few days before your reservation date. Although such arrangements may cost a bit more than your standard, non-refundable bookings, the extra price is outweighed by the fact that securing your ticket and accommodations early will always yield you the best available rates. Needless to say, planning early for your 2021 summer vacation will grant you peace of mind along with all the advantages otherwise unavailable through late bookings.
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How is the EU restoring freedom of movement?
As of 15 June 2020, EU member states have been encouraged to gradually lift internal border controls and restore freedom of movement within them. The lifting of restrictions also applies to residents of the UK and Schengen member states. Read the full article on Wego Travel Blog.
What is the EU’s criteria for COVID-19 safe countries?
What is the 2nd criteria for EU’s Safe Country list?
What is the 3rd criteria that the EU has defined for its checklist?
What are the countries on the safe travel list?
Furthermore, starting from July 1, EU members should start relaxing inbound travel restrictions for residents from the following third countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia… Check out the full list on Wego Travel Blog.