Is it Secure to Journey to Europe?
As part of our ongoing coverage of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer updates on specific regions.
As the rate of COVID-19 infections continues to fall in most of Europe, countries have reopened their borders to tourists. The latest list of approved countries issued by the European Union includes Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, but does not include travelers from the United States. However, this does not mean that travel is out of the question for people in the United States. If you are a US resident, you can visit the UK and Ireland provided you self-isolate for 14 days. Travelers can enter any EU country on the helpful Reopen EU website and get the most up-to-date information on travel regulations.
A country that is open to all international travelers is Croatia. You also don’t need to quarantine yourself if you can prove a negative COVID-19 test carried out no later than 48 hours before your arrival, according to AFAR magazine.
Where can you travel safely to Europe?
The big question, of course, is security. To help you navigate which places in Europe are safest to visit, the European Best Destinations Organization has compiled a list of 20 places least affected by the pandemic. Another benefit of these destinations is that their hospital beds-to-population ratio is higher than in most European countries.
The first destination on the list is Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, a country that has managed to keep the infection rate 260 times lower than other European countries. Other destinations include the Madeira Islands in Portugal, one of the sunniest travel destinations in Europe and one of the safest beach destinations on the continent. The Greek island of Corfu is another destination that the EBD considers safe.
Madeira Islands, Portugal
The EBD also provides a list of the safest beaches in Europe. At the top of the list is Preveza in Greece, where Monolithi Beach is located, the longest beach in Europe. The city administration has implemented various health and safety measures in its accommodations, shops and restaurants. Comporta in Portugal and Hel Peninsula in Poland round off the three most important recommendations.
A general rule is: the warmer the target, the better. That way, you can spend more time outdoors later in the year, which means a lower risk of COVID-19.
Some destinations even offer financial incentives to visit. Sicily offers to pay half the cost of your plane ticket and part of your hotel cost, and offers free tickets to museums and cultural sites. Cyprus is hoping to attract tourists by promising to provide free health and hotel expenses if you sign COVID-19 during your visit.
Since it can be difficult to keep track of the various rules and regulations for COVID-19 travel in Europe, you can book your vacation through a trusted travel expert to ensure you are in safe hands. You can then relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that the right precautions have been taken and that you will have access to expert support if something goes wrong.
“As a tip for everyone who has reservations to book a trip, I would say: beautiful cities and hotspots like Athens, Porto, Meteora and Lisbon are almost empty of tourists at the moment. There is no crowding in the streets and you don’t have to wait long in line. Hotels have very few guests and this is especially noticeable in larger establishments where you can find plenty of empty poolside sun loungers and a lot more quiet than usual. “
– Ms. Brennhäußer, charming guest in Portugal and Greece, summer 2020 Athens, GreecePorto, PortugalMeteora, Greece
Safety tips for traveling to Europe
If you are worried about flying it may not be as risky as you think it is. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most viruses and other germs don’t spread easily on flights because air is circulated and filtered on airplanes. Virtually all commercial jets use high-efficiency particulate filters similar to those found in hospital operating theaters, according to the Wall Street Journal. The cabins are also cleaned with antimicrobial disinfectants between flights. Nevertheless, you should take the following precautions when traveling by air:
- Wear a mask. Most airlines require you to wear one for the entire duration of the flight.
- Maintain social distance as much as possible at the airport and on the plane. Some airlines book too few flights to keep the center seats open, increasing your ability to maintain a two-meter distance.
- Wash your hands Wear alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently to make sure your hands stay virus-free. Avoid touching your face or eyes.
- Avoid using toilets at the airport and on the plane as much as possible. If you use one, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds afterwards.
- Consider bringing your own Refillable water bottle and snacks as services are limited both on the plane and at many airports.
Our travel experts are keeping an eye on our destinations around the world to provide you with updated information on travel restrictions due to COVID-19 (and other security issues). Check back for updates or follow us on Facebook for the latest information.
Are you thinking about a short break in Europe? Talk to a European travel destination expert today and see what the continent has to offer!