Which Countries are Safest to Travel for Covid-19?

Which countries are safest to travel for Covid-19? Where can you travel this year to feel safer and have less chance to contract the virus? These questions have been around many a kitchen table for the past two months, including our own. We want to travel and explore the world, but not everywhere is created equal.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a resource, a website perhaps, that ranked each country by various factors to determine the safest place to visit?

The Deep Knowledge Group has put together a list of 200 countries and regions to determine which are risky and which are safe in the covid-19 era. There’s a new number one country… there winner? Switzerland. Where do the US rank? It might surprise you.

a map of the world with different colored countries/regions

Regions and Countries

In the above map, you can see that the green countries are those deemed to be safer for contracting covid-19 and those in yellow, orange, or red are much riskier.

The top twenty countries are as follows:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Germany
  3. Israel
  4. Singapore
  5. Japan
  6. Austria
  7. China
  8. Australia
  9. New Zealand
  10. South Korea
  11. United Arab Emirates
  12. Canada
  13. Hong Kong
  14. Norway
  15. Denmark
  16. Taiwan
  17. Saudi Arabia
  18. Hungary
  19. Netherlands
  20. Vietnam

Where’s the USA located on this list? Number 58. Nestled between Romania and the Slovak Republic

a table with numbers and names

How did they come up with these numbers?

I’m so glad that you asked! According to the Deep Knowledge Group, it was a variety of factors:

A comprehensive and quantitative analysis of the far-reaching global pandemic arising from the novel coronavirus is a critical challenge that must be carried out in order to plan the best strategic measures to reduce and neutralize negative repercussions of the outbreak until the final solution of a vaccine is within the reach of the scientific and medical community. With this in mind, Deep Knowledge Group’s new COVID-19 special analytical case study is designed to classify, analyze and rank the economic, social and health stability achieved by 200 regions, countries and territories, as well as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats or risks that they possess and face against the global health and economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.

There are 6 main factors that go into calculating the overall score. They are Quarantine Efficiency, Government Efficiency of Risk Management, Monitoring and Detection, Healthcare Readiness, Regional Resiliency, and Emergency Preparedness.

a close up of a virus

What about the United States?

Many wonder why the United States is so low? We’ve got a great healthcare system, we’re testing, and we have emergency preparedness, so why aren’t we doing so well? The description makes sense when you break it down.

The United States is an interesting outlier, in that it has a high degree of healthcare sophistication, strong technologies for monitoring and protection, and the capacity to employ and enforce strict lockdown and social distancing measures. Despite this, it has one of the highest infection spread and mortality rates in the world, and for this reason is placed in Tier 3 (reserved for regions which ranked significantly lower-than-expected in terms of regional safety). Considering its assets and capacity for government management efficiency, emergency preparedness, monitoring and detection, and healthcare readiness, the central factor impacting its current situation and its specific ranking are the specific policies and crisis management strategies that its federal and state-level governments have deployed. The US imposed lockdown measures and testing fairly late in the overall pandemic timeline, and the country is already relaxing its states’ economic freezing and quarantine mandates as infection spread and mortality rates continue rise.

If you’re considering heading on a vacation this summer, look into one of the top twenty countries if you’re concerned about getting and spreading the Coronavirus. Some of those countries might not let you in, so do make sure to check the requirements before you go and buy a ticket.

You can read the full report and all of its rankings and downloads here.

Are you traveling this summer or fall? If so, where to?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. I would said this system is messed up in its calculations. It has Portugal at 46, behind Spain at 45. I wouldn’t dream of visiting Spain, and I am going to Portugal. Portugal had around 1100 deaths from COVID, and in the Algarve area, there were 3. Many of the small towns were not affected at all. I live in MA, and would feel much safer in Portugal than here in MA.

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  2. by looking at the 4 countries on the top of the column, this is such a useless ranking. Qatar has the most cases per million residents BY FAR! Sorry but I am here now in Qatar, completely locked but I can tell you it is not safe and the government hasn’t effectively controlled the virus at all since March! And it ranks on 20th safest in the world? Mongolia has no communal spread but it is 76th? OH how about Lebanon? One of the most successful containment efforts yet 77th? This is a joke! Obviously they don’t have a clear idea of what data they are using, thus leading into completely wrong conclusion.

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    • Would you agree or disagree with the top 20?

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      • As I said, the ranking doesn’t make sense because countries that should be listed in the top are not. I don’t know the situations in some countries in the top 20 but I do know that UAE and Saudi are not SAFER to travel at the moment than for example, Lebanon, Mongolia and Czech republic. Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan, (even Nepal) are a lot safer than the top 20 countries. Particularly, Thailand and Vietnam have really reliable medical facilities…I do think that the ranking is biased simply because they don’t care to dig the data deep and look at the developing countries. I mean this bias has always been there, the question is whether someone would notice this bias when they see the world and read the news. As a traveler, I hope you see this bias as well…

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  3. I would disagree because I believe Portugal for sure should be in the top twenty. I’ve read extensively about their re-opening plans, and what they did shutting down for COVID. The mere fact that they kept their numbers so low, especially when you factor in the island of Madeira, and the Azores islands, make me really doubt whatever system they were using. How can China be number 7? Sure they shut it down, but there are doubts they gave out true numbers. I think some of those countries should be there. I have no idea what Vietnam is doing to control COVID, but I doubt they have as strong an infrastructure as Portugal. Portugal has already come up with a certification for hotels so tourists know if the hotels are being cleaned to a certain standard.
    Right now the beaches are very strictly controlled as well. Sure Canada, New Zealand and Australia should be up there. I don’t know about some of the other countries. I don’t think India should be above the US, and I think the UK should be lower than it is. For all I know, maybe this ranking system was made up by tourist agencies in those countries because it sure is totally wrong, IMHO! Do you think it’s correct?

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  4. Did you look at their website? It doesn’t say a single thing about how they got their numbers, how they weighted these numbers, what companies used these numbers, what or if any actual scientists helped with these ratings, etc. As a biology major, this is junk science. I don’t put any weight in this at all. If you are going to put up numbers for people to look at, then you need to provide how you came up with the statistics. And citing six factors you used doesn’t cut it. As far as I am concerned, this site is misleading tourists, and you should not be promoting it. People are better off looking at what the WHO says or their own consulate says than this junk. Just because you put up fancy maps doesn’t make your statistics valid. I had booked a flight booked to Portugal for a cruise (that was cancelled.) I cancelled the flight and rebooked another one because the flight was not nonstop-it went through Madrid, and I decided that was way too dangerous. I am flying nonstop from JFK to Lisbon. My plan is to go directly to the airport, and to remain socially distant at the airport. Also, I am not flying until mid-September. I was supposed to go to South FL for Labor Day, and cancelled it because I decided FL is too dangerous.

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