New Zealand, Canada and Japan top pandemic travel index’s safest destinations

A new Pandemic Travel Risk Index has been launched which determines the safest options to travel to with a level of normalcy.

Decision Inc. analysed quarantine stringency, vaccination rates, approved vaccines and case number trends across 10 of the most popular destinations for Australians, with Canada, New Zealand, and Japan determined the safest bets to travel to with a level of normalcy. Fiji was seen as a possibility but Thailand was labelled as best to avoid for now.

The Index tracks vaccination rates, case numbers per million, stringency of quarantine measures and the approved vaccines in the 10 most popular travel destinations of Australians (by revenue spent) to provide certainty to the travel sector as well as business and leisure travellers across the country.

Users can simply scroll over a country on the map on the Decision Inc. website and be provided with vaccination rates, approved vaccines and current quarantine measures in place.

Reviewing the analysis, Decision Inc. believes Thailand would be a destination to avoid in the immediate term, with low vaccination rate, high cases numbers and mid-level stringency measures indicating a slow return to normalcy.

Conversely, Fiji may be a destination to watch with a climbing vaccination rate, a low infection rate and top stringency measures which are able to bring Covid to heel quickly. The US is also worth considering with reasonable vaccination rates and case numbers, though this varies on a state-by-state basis.

“Despite welcoming ‘Freedom Day’, we do not operate in a vacuum,” said Aiden Heke, CEO Australia, Decision Inc.

“While the Australian government has been clear recently in its intent to open our borders and reduce the impact of quarantine on arrival back on our shores, the same doesn’t necessarily hold true of our most popular travel destinations.”

New Zealand, Canada, and Japan offer the most certainty when it comes to experiencing some level of freedom on arrival, according to Decision Inc.

Conversely, the UK, despite a clear mandate from Government to “live with Covid” and with relatively few restrictions on the ground, has seen cases spiral to 661 new cases per million.

Singapore, despite topping the vaccination rates of analysed countries, has seen cases increase to 610 per million which, among a high-density population, poses risks to travellers and has seen lockdown measures be put in place there once again.

“Unpredictability is a constant reality of living in a world still experiencing a pandemic, even with vaccine availability increasing across the world,” said Heke.

“But borders are open, and planes are set to take off again. It’s clear that people want to travel once again, if not for business or leisure then to visit loved ones they haven’t seen in two years. They just need to weigh the risks based on the available data.”