Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the travel industry has seen a huge slowdown, with many countries choosing to shut their borders to tourists. What’s more, national lockdowns saw us instructed to stay home, with travel restrictions in place and thousands of holidays cancelled as a result.
Although it has not been safe to travel over the last year or so, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. With the UK government announcing its plans to ease lockdown and social distancing measures, it’s looking like travel could be back on the cards as early as May 2021.
That being said, not every country is quite ready to welcome back tourists yet and with some still suffering at the hands of the pandemic, some places still aren’t safe to travel too.
But if you’re desperate to get away this year, don’t give up hope. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of seven of the safest places you will likely be able to travel to in 2021.
Many popular Greek holiday destinations were on the travel corridor list last year, including Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete. And this looks set to be a safe destination for 2021 as well.
Although rapid COVID-19 tests must be taken before going on your trip and some quarantine measures apply, there are talks about a vaccine passport scheme being set up between Greece and the UK this year. This means hopefully there can be some semi-normal holidays this summer once the vaccine has been fully rolled out across the nation.
With most places looking to get back to normal as quickly as possible, if you fancy a low-key holiday, why not consider Kefalonia. Alternatively, destinations like Rodes and Corfu will hope to get their tourism back up and running ASAP.
2. The Maldives
The Maldives is one of the world’s most beautiful holiday destinations and it’s safe to visit as long as you can present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 upon arrive (taken no longer than 96 hours before).
So in 2021, you can take the ultimate relaxing break to the Maldives. You could find yourself staying in a private villa or overwater bungalow, soaking up the sun and enjoying paradise in just a few short months.
Whether you want to visit Reykjavik, catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights or go off exploring ice caves, Iceland is a safe and fun destination for every explorer. You will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. However, those who have had their vaccination will not need to do a test or go into quarantine.
So if you’re not one for lounging about (unless it’s in a geothermally heated saltwater swimming pool) and you’re looking for an exciting new experience, a holiday to Iceland in 2021 could be perfect for you.
4. St Lucia
This incredible Caribbean island began unlocking its borders back in June 2020 and UK travellers can actually visit St Lucia with no quarantine required. That being said, all travellers must continue the adhere to the rules of wearing face masks during island transportation and when in public places.
What’s more, you just remain at your Covid-certified accommodation for the duration of your stay in St Lucia unless on an excursion arranged by the hotel. You may also be asked to prove that you’ve had a negative COVID-19 test up to 72 hours before your departure.
But don’t let these measures put you off – it’s all in the name of safety and it means you could be sipping pina coladas poolside sooner than you think! The beautiful weather and incredible hotels make St Lucia the perfect relaxing getaway, even if you do have to wear a mask occasionally.
In order to visit Barbados, you will need to supply a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. You will also be required to quarantine in a designated holding hotel or approved villa.
However, quarantine is only required for the first four to five days and many of the government-approved quarantine hotels are some of the best addresses on the island. For example, Cobblers Cove, Coral Reef Club and Fairmont Royal Pavilion all made the list.
In some of these hotels, you may be free to use the facilities throughout the day as normal so you can continue to sit back and enjoy yourself even if you are in quarantine. Then, when you’re allowed to leave you can enjoy all the sites and beautiful weather that Barbados has to offer.
Are you looking for something a little upbeat and exciting after months of lockdown? Well, whether you’re going for the great food, the music, the classic cars or the rum, Cuba can be a wild and enticing holiday destination for 2021.
However, if you do want to travel to Cuba, you will be required to do a COVID-19 test before and upon arrival. You may then have to quarantine until the results are received. Providing they are negative you can enjoy the rest of your trip unimpeded.
7. The UK
Of course, you don’t always have to get on a plane to travel. Why not consider holidaying more locally and exploring new or even your favourite parts of the UK. From Scotland to Cornwall there are so many beautiful places to see and this won’t require you to get a visa or COVID-19 test.
That being said, you will need to make sure that you adhere to local rules and regulations if travelling to Wales, Scotland or Ireland so be sure to check these out before you travel.
Are you hoping for a getaway in 2021?
We’ve chosen some of the safest and most exciting places to visit in 2021. However, it’s worth noting that current travel to these places is banned under lockdown laws and it’s important to keep checking regulations as these are changing all the time.
But with any luck, summer holidays will be back on the cards and we can all have a bit of a break from our homes this year.