Post-Pandemic Travel | Top 5 Safest Cities
Post-Pandemic Travel: 5 Safest Cities in the World to Visit
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Now that international travel is allowed, which cities are the safest in the world to visit post-pandemic? This proves to be a tough decision because now there’s a constant fear of catching an infection, especially when on holiday. Don’t worry, it’s not just you!
But, instead of suppressing your desire to travel, why not do some research on ways to stay healthy while travelling and the safest destinations to travel to. We’ve listed the top countries to travel to post-COVID before, but here’s the top 5 safest ones according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) as published in their 2021 Safe Cities Index, with Singapore coming in third!
Basically, the EIU ranked 60 cities around the world, based on 76 safety indicators, such as infrastructure, health, as well as personal and environmental security – including pandemic preparedness and COVID-19 mortality metrics this time around.
In other words, these 5 cities are perfect examples of how the overall health and safety of a city highly depends on trust and inclusion of every member of its society, as practiced in Singapore.
So, here’s the top 5 safest cities to visit post-pandemic and what they did to make the cut.
The capital of Denmark emerged as the safest city in the world last year. This city rated exceptionally high under the environmental security indicator, which measures: sustainability, air quality, waste management and urban landscaping.
All these factors, especially urban landscaping, played an important part on how well the residents of Copenhagen coped with pandemic restrictions. Although social-distancing was encouraged with trained guides to help people around, and clear signage to maintain space outdoors, residents were able to enjoy the city’s numerous parks and waterways with ease.
On top of that, Copenhagen has implemented a mass COVID-19 testing programme – free for residents and tourists – to monitor the outbreak. So, if you’re feeling a little unwell while there, you don’t have to stress about the cost of getting tested. It’s also worth mentioning that the city has also implemented wastewater testing for early warning of new infections.
The largest city in Canada came in second in the overall safety index, scoring highly in environmental security and infrastructure. This is mainly due to the inclusiveness of this city in communicating about vaccine awareness to every community within their society.
For example, several community-specific vaccination programmes, such as ‘The Homebound Sprint Vaccination’ plan was introduced to provide first doses for residents who could not leave their homes during the lockdown. There were also task forces that came together to push for vaccines among minority communities.
To put it simply, the city's approach to cultural diversity makes residents feel safe, seen, and included. You’ll probably feel the same, once there.
In Asia, Singapore came in third for digital, health, and infrastructure security. This is mainly because we had digital monitoring and contact tracing implemented early on, in efforts to control outbreaks quickly.
Besides that, Singapore was also quick to develop a mobile application to manage contact tracing, in order to contain the transmission of the COVID-19 outbreak. Essentially, residents and tourists need to download the TraceTogether app, which is scanned before entering any building or outdoor space.
Also, to encourage residents to head out with peace of mind, local tourist spots and shopping malls have only limited entrances open and "Safe Distancing Ambassadors" monitoring crowds, ensuring everyone complies with health orders. Plus, you can also check how crowded it is at malls, post offices, and grocery stores with a new tool called Space Out, so you can avoid busy areas.
Australia's largest city took fourth place in the list for high health security. It was one of the first cities to completely shut down its border and maintain strict lockdown measures during the outbreak, which proved to work in its favour. As a result, the COVID-19 death rate in Australia continues to be one of the lowest in the world.
Sydney also ranked high in digital security, because of the city’s cybersecurity protections and overall smart-city plan. So, besides the confidence that your personal data online is safeguarded, you can be sure that it’s also one of the safest cities for solo travellers. As the smart-city plan outlines how smart lighting and CCTV networks would improve safety after-dark. Besides that, it also suggests placing smart sensors in trash bins, street lamps, and benches to collect information on overall usage, transport flows, and pedestrian activity.
These ideas are already being tested in south Sydney, through what the locals call ‘ChillOUT hubs’ – open-air spaces, where residents can hang out under smart lighting, connect to WiFi and plug in electronic mobile devices with ease. This data on usage is then sent back to city leaders so they can better understand and adapt to how their citizens – and tourists for that matter – interact with the city's infrastructure.
The capital of Japan made it to fifth place with a high health security index, which measures factors like universal healthcare, pandemic preparedness, life expectancy, mental health, and COVID-19 mortality. Although new cases surged during the Olympics last year, rates gradually fell as vaccinations reached most of its residents. Japan has currently reached a population vaccination rate of over 70%, so you don’t have to worry about getting infected.
This city also got high scores for its infrastructure security, which includes transport safety, pedestrian friendliness, and transportation networks. As a city connected by rail and walkways, Tokyo encourages walking and community engagement, which has strengthened neighborhood crime prevention, and a shared sense of responsibility amongst its residents. So, rest assured that you can enjoy a peaceful city stroll when visiting Tokyo!
However, the Omicron variant outbreak has caused Japan to shut its border to tourists till end February this year.
Get Added Safety with Travel Insurance!
Although these 5 cities have proved to be safe with high priority for health, don’t forget to get good travel insurance wherever you go on holiday. DirectAsia now offers COVID-19 travel insurance single-trip cover to ensure that you are protected if you contract the virus while on holiday abroad.
Are you thinking of going for a vacation overseas? Have you considered visiting any of these 5 cities? Let us know in the comments section below!