European countries have begun opening their borders following restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, but what destinations offer the safest experiences to hopeful wayfarers? A new report released by travel website European Best Destination has outlined some of the choices. Concentrating on countries least affected by COVID-19, the destinations have also implemented specific protocols concerning hygiene in places like accommodations, restaurants and shops.
In comparison to other countries around the world, Georgia has fared better in terms of total number of cases of coronavirus. The country was quick to react with measures, and according to the study, case numbers are approximately 260 times lower than the most affected European countries. With borders reopening 1 July to certain countries, Georgia will be implementing a series of health measures to protect travellers and citizens alike.
Greece’s total number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 are low in contrast to other European destinations. The country is currently welcoming international travellers with cafés, restaurants and bars with terraces operational. Greece has had 50 times less people infected than the majority of other European places, and the healthcare system was not overwhelmed at any point during the health crisis. According to the study, Greece also has more hospital beds per capita than many other European countries. Beach visits and tourist attractions are currently being monitored with social distancing practices in place.
With cases coming in 40 times lower than most destinations in Europe, Portugal is being considered a good destination for travel. The Azores, the Algarve and the Madeira Islands have been listed as examples of destinations that fared particularly well. The country recently outlined plans to welcome tourists, which includes the need for visitors to the Azores archipelago to test negative for COVID-19 for the last 72 hours, while people travelling to Madeira can receive a free COVID-19 test when they arrive.
Croatia is among the European countries least affected by coronavirus, with the rate of infected people per million inhabitants coming in 20 times lower than other European countries. Like Greece, Croatia is also one of the European countries with the highest number of hospital beds per inhabitant. The country is already adjusting to new ways of tourism, the latest example being a newly announced private cruise that is due to sail in 2021.
There were 15 times fewer COVID-19 cases in Romania than in the most affected European countries. As it stands, the country has reported 22,000 total cases and 1410 deaths. According to Romania-insider.com, the country is relaxing landing and quarantine rules for other countries with low case numbers as it also prepares to reopen business and services. Last year Romania was tipped as the fastest growing destination for UK travellers.
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Source: Lonely Planet