One of the things we missed most this past year, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed drastically our lives, is travelling. For many of us, it’s been a year of suspended plans, canceled trips and missed experiences.
Let’s admit it! Now that summer is in the air in the Northern Hemisphere and vaccinations have finally started, one thought runs continuously in our mind: will we be able to travel abroad in the next months and if yes, which places are safe to visit?
Your new travel list: Ticket, passport, vaccine passport
Last week, the European Commission unveiled its plan for a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Green Certificate will serve as a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered.
Whether in digital or paper form, this vaccine passport will be issued by the country of origin and will allow travelers to move around Europe and come to Europe from abroad, without having to do additional Covid-19 tests or enter quarantine.
Among the European countries that plan to facilitate travelling to vaccinated travellers are Greece, Portugal, Georgia, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, and Denmark. If your vaccination is planned for spring 2021, you will very likely travel without restrictions in most European countries.
European Best Destinations (EBD), which is part of the European Commission’s EDEN Network (“European Destinations of Excellence”), has assembled a list of the 15 “best destinations for vaccinated travelers.”
Here are some of the best options for traveling to Europe as soon as you get your passport!
Madeira, Madeira Islands – Portugal
This destination has remained in the green zone throughout this pandemic thanks to the effective health measures. Madeira is considered the safest destination in Europe. If you have been vaccinated or have a negative covid-19 test in hand, this paradise island is for you! Combining safety & leisure, Madeira is the ideal choice if you’re looking for outdoor, nature, relaxation and wellness activities.
Rethymno, Crete – Greece
Its sublime lighthouse, its Venetian harbour crowded with fishing boats, its fortress but also its hiking trails, on foot or by bike and its sublime beaches. These are the good reasons to visit Rethymno, Crete this summer. Rethymno is a destination rich in history, that it will also appeal to lovers of beautiful beaches. Not to mention that it was recently ranked among the most romantic destinations for a valentine day in Europe.
Iceland was the first European country to put in place a vaccination certificate. Islanders get a certificate once they have received their two doses of the vaccine. Iceland also recognizes vaccination certificates issued by other European countries (+ Schengen Area). This summer, treat yourself and breathe pure Icelandic air. Its black sand beaches, its captivating lagoons, its incredible geysers and waterfalls await you.
The Azores, Portugal
Did you know that Corvo (Azores) was the first island in the world where the entire population had already been vaccinated? Nine islands make up this archipelago, which is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe. A 100% nature destination, the Azores is the first choice for people sensitive to sustainable tourism, protection and observation of nature.
Recognized as the safest destination last summer, Tbilisi has managed to remain among the destinations least affected by Covid-19. If you are looking for culture, nature, well-being, history, gastronomic discoveries or just a city break shopping in a trendy destination awarded among the most trendy destinations in Europe, the Capital of Georgia is the ideal destination for this summer.
Voted as one of the top 2021 destinations, Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful Greek islands. Less affected by Covid 19 than other European countries, Greece quickly established itself as a safe destination in Europe. With restaurants and cafes planning to reopen from mid-April and a wide range of private accommodation and kilometric beaches allowing sanitary distances to be respected, Kefalonia is a perfect destination for a holiday in the sun this year.
Cavtat – Konavle, Croatia
Cavtat is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe due to low Covid-19 cases, proximity to airports (in case of repatriation) and hospitals, but also thanks to the health measures. Cavtat is a premier travel destination for vaccinated travellers and those traveling with a negative covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours before departure.
Spain has provided an innovative response to the health crisis. After a hard containment, other ways to manage the pandemic were tested and the figures dropped. Spanish Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Reyes Maroto said that her government plans to incorporate vaccine passports or certificates to the safe travel corridors they are planning, as “an element of safe mobility”. With bars and restaurants that have remained open, Spain is seen as an oasis of freedom. Nevertheless, the Spaniards take this health situation very seriously but try to apply acceptable and effective measures and the figures are rather favourable.
Sweden very quickly got involved in favour of a Vaccine Passport for travelling but also for everyday life. Stockholm is the must-see destination in Sweden. This cosmopolitan, colourful, innovative, sparkling city is one of the most incredible capitals in Europe. Perfect for a city break, a shopping spree or a gastronomic stay, Stockholm will also appeal to art lovers with its cultural events and numerous art installations in the city.
Denmark decided, in February 2021, to set up a vaccine passport allowing citizens vaccinated against Covid-19 to resume normal life, in complete safety. This Covid-19 Vaccine passport is not only for Danish citizens. Denmark undertakes to recognize vaccine passports issued at international and European level. Once vaccinated in your country of origin and in possession of your proof of vaccination, you can enjoy cafes, restaurants, concerts, without additional tests.