As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a public health concern, traveling during these challenging times may seem more stressful than before. With borders slowly opening and the world returning to normal, however, an international vacation now sounds like a plan, not just a dream. Taking the proper precautions and following local regulations, getting tested, wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing and washing hands frequently keep jet-setters safer, regardless of how far they roam. For those anxious to get away, here are the safest island destinations to visit during the pandemic.
Maldives’ near-perfect temperatures and a generally dry climate, make it a year-round destination. Its long stretches of unlittered, white sandy beaches, flourishing coral reefs, and private resorts and villas entice those looking for the ultimate secluded vacation.
The archipelago has received the “Safe Travels Stamp” from the World Travel and Tourism Council in recognition of the measures taken in making the Maldives a safe and pleasurable destination for visitors. Early implementation of a partial lockdown and other public health measures prevented an exponential rise in the number of cases.
During the wet season, there are excellent deals for resorts that are around 30-40% cheaper than peak season (January – April). Do not be put off by the wet season, as the islands are so low-lying, rain clouds blow over very quickly so rain will usually be short-lived. Travelers are encouraged to stay as long as possible (minimum 5 days) to balance out any bad weather days they might encounter.
The archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, is home to numerous white sandy beaches backed by lush tropical jungle and lapped by crystal-clear waters, coral reefs and nature reserves, and diverse marine life. It is a perfect destination to visit for wildlife lovers as Seychelles boasts a diversity of flora, fauna, and small wildlife. It is especially a paradise for birdwatchers as they can easily observe unique land birds, sea bird colonies, and more. The larger islands are blessed with rugged mountains and verdant jungle, all relatively untouched and ready to be explored.
Seychelles is now fully reopened to travelers and serves as a safe destination, being one of the most vaccinated nations in the world with relatively low numbers of Covid cases.
Many of Seychelles’ remote islands encapsulate the true nature of paradise and boast the most luxurious of resorts that have plenty to offer for those looking for a different travel experience. Myriads of water sports options (kayaking, canoeing, sea bobbing, jet-skiing, snorkeling, etc) are also available.
An island country in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, Mauritius is highly famed for its sapphire waters, powder-white beaches, and luxury resorts. Great for nature and hiking lovers, it is rich with lush forests, wild waterfalls, unique wildlife, and rocky mountains. Mauritius is one of the best destinations in the world for kitesurfing with fantastic surf spots all around the island but it’s the south that is renowned for strong and consistent tradewinds, especially between April and November.
This prosperous Indian Ocean archipelago is re-opening in phases. However, from October 1 onwards, vaccinated travelers will be able to enter the country without restrictions, as long as they provide a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure. Mauritius is ranked as one of the top countries in the world for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the island’s tourism staff is prioritized for vaccine rollout. As of now, more than half of the nation is fully vaccinated.