Since the start of the pandemic, many have been pining for their next holiday and a chance to go abroad again. The government’s policies regarding Covid-19 and restrictions on travel are constantly evolving as the situation changes. At the time of writing (late February 2021), the government’s advice is to remain at home in order to protect the NHS.
Travel is only permitted in exceptional circumstances, and many countries are asking travelers to provide a negative PCR test prior to travel, with travelers needing to purchase private testing kits from government-approved PCR test providers such as Medicspot. That doesn’t stop us from planning and thinking about our next trip abroad, though! So, when restrictions are finally lifted and we can travel again, where are the six safest destinations to travel to?
This small island off the African coast has been the safest destination in Europe since the Covid-19 outbreak began, thanks to very low rates of cases. There have been five deaths per 100,000 people, thanks to its tough approach and restrictions very early on when the pandemic first came to light. The island is famous for its mountainous landscapes for cycling and walking, tranquil gardens and buzzing nightlife in its capital, Funchal.
Wearing a mask is encouraged, but not compulsory. Hotels, bars, and restaurants that meet the island’s new ‘safe and clean’ criteria will welcome tourists under high hygiene levels and policies. Thankfully, the island is also surrounded by ocean, which enables the air to be much cleaner and germ-free in comparison to more densely populated cities.
If you’re ready to escape to a tropical Caribbean island after the last tough year, this is a great option. Martinique has up to 15 times fewer Covid-19 cases than many countries in Europe. Ideal for beach lovers, watersports enthusiasts and hikers, the island offers year-round sunshine and warm sea temperatures that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Thankfully, there is no island curfew and you will not need to quarantine upon arrival, but a negative PCR test result (72 hours prior to departure), will be requested for you to board your flight. Evidence of your negative test will also be requested at the Martinique border.
If you can manage the 31-hour long-haul flight, a tropical island paradise awaits you in French Polynesia. Tahiti is the largest island in the archipelago, with plenty of black-sand beaches, waterfalls, lush natural parks and two extinct volcanos to explore. With only 43 deaths per 100,000 people, this is one of the safest destinations to travel to amid the pandemic. The country has been able to keep cases low thanks to its curfew between 9 pm and 4 am, and there is a possibility that it will extend this policy.
But if you’re in a private villa with your own pool and beach views, all you’ll feel like doing is relaxing, anyway! However, because of restrictions and testing requirements, island-hopping to other Windward Islands like Bora Bora during a single trip may be off the cards for now.
Located off the island of Samos, you’ll need to book a ferry crossing to get to Ikaria, which is probably why it has experienced relatively few Covid-19 cases. Having escaped the mass tourism that is experienced by other Greek islands, Ikaria is known for its calm and quiet pace, unspoiled beaches, crystal-clear waters, and friendly locals. The island offers visitors scenic walking trails, therapeutic hot springs for bathing, and delicious cuisine with tastes from across the world.
Try the local Kathoura cheese, and of course, the island’s world-renowned honey. A curfew between 9 pm and 5 am is currently in force, but is clearly working to keep cases down.
Book a private overwater villa or beach bungalow in your own slice of paradise on a Maldivian island. Take a walk along the long Lux South Ari Atoll island, or take in the ‘sea of stars’ on Vaadhoo Island. Because it isn’t densely populated and most resorts are spaciously spread out, the Maldives has had relatively low numbers of Covid-19 deaths (just 60 in total). You’ll need to provide a negative PCR test upon arrival, no more than 96 hours before departure.
As of 4 June 2020, this beautiful Caribbean island has been allowing visitors back through its borders. UK travelers can visit without needing to quarantine but must provide proof of a negative PCR test, which must be taken five days or less prior to travel. Travelers must also wear face-covering in public spaces and on public transport. If you’re looking for things to do in Saint Lucia, the island is home to the famous Piton mountains that are great for an early morning hike, as well as sandy white beaches, sugar plantations, a drive-through volcano, and volcanic mud baths.
While traveling during Covid is illegal, that doesn’t stop us from dreaming of our next holiday hotspot once restrictions are lifted! Remember that Covid testing restrictions may still be in place, so get planning now for your dream holiday after Covid.
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