15 European destinations least affected by the coronavirus

  • European Best Destinations (EBD), which works with local tourism offices to promote European travel, put together a list of what it deems the “safest” destinations on the continent for post-pandemic travel.
  • It selected destinations with low COVID-19 infection rates and that have implemented strict protocols on hygiene and social-distancing measures.
  • It also took into account how many hospital beds destinations have, choosing places that have more hospital beds per capita than other European countries. 
  • While many travel restrictions within Europe have been lifted, nonessential travel is still not recommended in many places, such as in the US, where the Centers for Disease Control warns against it.

Slide 2 of 16: Greece has been widely lauded for its swift response to the coronavirus. At the time of writing, it has seen 2,997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 180 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.Greece announced that it will welcome tourists from June 15, when international flights to Athens and Thessaloniki will be allowed. However, travelers from high-risk areas, as defined by this list from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), will face COVID-19 testing and potential quarantine until at least July 1. The list includes the US.
©Shutterstock /Tordoran Andrei

Ancient churches, rugged mountains, and pristine water make Corfu, Greece, one of the most famous Greek isles.

Greece has been widely lauded for its swift response to the coronavirus. At the time of writing, it has seen 2,997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 180 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Slide 4 of 16: EBD says that Austria had "10 times fewer infected people than anywhere else in Europe," with  16,968 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 672 related death, per Johns Hopkins, at the time of writing.Austria reopened its borders to all neighboring countries but Italy on June 4, but plans to open to Italy on June 16, when it will also put an end to quarantine requirements for visitors from 20 European countries. According to the Telegraph, Austria's foreign minister said at a news conference: "We are opening Austria's borders to all EU, EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and EEA (European Economic Area) states with four notable exceptions — those are Sweden, Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal."Spain and Austria are expected to mutually lift restrictions to each other on July 1, which is when, according to Euronews, some non-EU countries such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia may also be allowed to enter.Countries with worse outbreaks will continue to be restricted, and it's unclear at the time of writing when travelers from other places will be allowed. 

©Sylvain Sonnet/Getty

Once home to the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, and Freud, Vienna, Austria’s capital, has an artistic and intellectual history that can still be felt today.

EBD says that Austria had “10 times fewer infected people than anywhere else in Europe,” with  16,968 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 672 related death, per Johns Hopkins, at the time of writing.

Slide 5 of 16: According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, Georgia has seen 810 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13 related deaths at the time of writing. Per EBD, it's one of the world's least affected countries with 260 times fewer cases than some of the most affected European countries. Georgia plans to open to international travelers July 1.
© MiGoi/Shutterstock

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is the perfect mix of hip and history, with winding cobblestone streets featuring medieval architecture at every turn.

Slide 7 of 16: According to Johns Hopkins, Malta has seen 630 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine related deaths at the time of writing.Malta International Airport is expected to reopen on July 1, but only to travelers from Austria, Sicily, Cyprus, Switzerland, Sardegna, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic. According to Malta's visitor's bureau, Malta's prime minister said that more destinations will be announced as they are cleared by health authorities.
© FredP/Shutterstock

Malta’s capital, Valletta, was founded in the early 16th century and was called “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world,” by UNESCO.

Slide 9 of 16: On June 2, Croatia's tourism minister, Gari Cappelli, said there were currently 33,000 tourists in Croatia. 
© Dreamer7487/Shutterstock

Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, was once a medieval fortress, but its history dates all the way back to the Roman empire, which is evident in its narrow cobblestone streets, and many ancient towers and churches.

This article for © Insider was written by shoeller@businessinsider.com (Sophie-Claire Hoeller) 

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Author: Dennis Hickey

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