UPDATE: You can read about the countries that still don’t have any reported cases of the Coronavirus (as of 28 April 2020) here. But first go ahead and read this article anyway – it’s quite entertaining and you’re already here.
Don’t let the Coronavirus ruin your holiday! In fact, you should take the opportunity to make the most of the current global travel chaos and book a last minute trip to one of these destinations where the virus [had] yet to spread [when we first posted this]!
Italy: Where’s that Nero fellow when you need him?
We’re obviously just joking with this one! In fact, at this point Italy should probably just lean into the whole situation and rebrand themselves as Wuhanaly, Coronaly, COVIDaly-19 or Wereallgonnadiealy. The slogans and cross-promotion possibilities are truly endless, and whatever they come up with would surely go viral on social media and the rest of the internets! What? Too soon? [Editor’s note: if you think this section is inappropriate already, you should probably stop reading now]. Of course what’s really going to be ironic is when the Libyan parliament hurriedly passes a new law making it illegal for aid organisations to rescue Italian migrants fleeing the pandemic on overcrowded vessels, trying to make it across the Mediterranean to the relative safety of the oil-rich, albeit slightly war-town, North African country.
Slovenia: No reported cases of coronavirus (yet)
UPDATE: Slovenia officially joined the Coronavirus Club on 4 March. In the press conference making the official announcement, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health paraphrased the late American philosopher Groucho Marx, saying: “We don’t want to be a member of any club that would have us, but couldn’t put off the inevitable.”
We have to list Slovenia near the top, because it’s only a matter of time before it’ll have to be crossed off, as Italy (aka European Wuhan) is just next door, and Austria and Croatia also have confirmed cases now. And while the storied Isonzo Front from WWI fame (thanks Hemingway!) and its beautiful Soča Valley were able to put up a mighty defence against advancing armies a century ago, airborne super viruses are surely a whole other ballgame. Anyway, best to make the most of your time in coronavirus-free Slovenia while you can, and hit up the usual tourist hotspots of the capital city Ljubljana, the alpine fairy tale lake of Bled, and the picturesque Venetian towns of the Mediterranean coast with a quick stop at either Postojna or Škocjan caves along the way.
Iceland: Elves, yes. Coronavirus, no!
UPDATE: Coronavirus? Yes. Elves? Failed!
The mystical island of Iceland should be safe from the coronavirus for the foreseeable future. First of all it’s a mystical island, which is always a big plus when it comes to preventing the spread of pandemics. And second, the place is full of f*cking elves, which as everyone knows are totally impervious to human diseases and also help the general immunity. Most of them are invisible though, so while you likely won’t see any on your trip there are plenty of other natural attractions in Iceland to keep you occupied while the rest of the world burns.
Monaco: Way too much wealth to get the coronavirus here
The Principality of Monaco is more an über wealthy city-state rather than a real country, but it’s also got exactly zero reported cases of the coronavirus, and is likely to stay that way thanks to its per capita income of $190,000 annually. As anyone who’s seen one of the most classic South Park episodes of all time can attest, money is truly the cure to all terrible diseases. But what is there to do in Monaco while the world waits for some real life Matt Damon or George Clooney type character to save the day? Find out here!
Andorra: Hike, bike and ski – all coronavirus-free!
UPDATE: Andorra’s coronavirus-free status, has now melted away like that clock…..
Another micro-state, but this time one where you don’t necessarily need to be amongst the world’s 1% to enjoy yourself. As of now, all 468 glorious square kilometres of Andorra’s territory is certified coronavirus free. What you will find are plenty of opportunities for skiing, hiking and other incredible outdoor activities, along with some excellent Catalan cuisine to refuel after long days of burning calories and not contracting the coronavirus.
Malta: Coronavirus is a killer, but it’s no fool
Another island state on the list, but Malta’s natural geographic and maritime defences are enhanced not by elfin magic, but the fact that it’s (allegedly) a corrupt mafia state, where even in 2020 critics of the government have a way of getting assassinated by car bombs. The coronavirus may be mass killer, but it’s no fool, and no way does it want any part of this seedy, lawless isle. You on the other hand have priorities and will definitely want to try and book a one-way budget flight on Easyjet or Ryanair (while they’re still flying that is) and spend your self-imposed exile checking out some truly fascinating attractions and exceptional Maltese cuisine!
*That didn’t have any reported cases, as of 21:57 CET on 25 February 2020, when this article was first published.
The preceding was written by In Your Pocket’s former editor-in-chief and current editor-at-large Yuri Barron, who these days can be found on the 30th floor of a condominium in Kuala Lumpur, where he was planning to ride out the global quarantine by finishing his memoirs, Thirty-Cent Life: A Decade of Moderately Irresponsible Travel in Dodgy Countries, but hasn’t managed to get round to starting yet. More of his somewhat travel-related work can be found here.