With headlines being dominated with ever increasing infection rates, we would like to turn the tables. Instead, for this article, we want to deal with the places that have not yet recorded a single proven infection with COVID-19.
We can reveal this much in advance: They are all small island states located in the South Pacific. Two countries on the mainland officially show zero infections - but a bit of skepticism is appropriate here as to whether the published data really corresponds to reality.
European travellers who come to Palau almost all want only one thing: to immerse themselves in the breathtaking underwater world. It's no wonder that the island is repeatedly in the top 10 of the most beautiful diving destinations worldwide. Special currents mean that you have a particularly good chance of seeing large fish here. We also had nice encounters with manta rays and sharks there.
Another well-known attraction in Palau is Jellyfish Lake, a lake with countless jellyfish. When the lake lost its connection to the sea a long time ago and the jellyfish have since been protected from enemies, they eventually lost their poison and so you can now snorkel safely between them.
2. Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are a popular travel destination, especially for New Zealanders, not least as a destination for honeymoons. On the main island of Rarotonga you can even enjoy the chilled island life in guesthouses, explore the island by bike or the only public bus, lie on the beach that almost completely surrounds the island or snorkel on beautiful reefs.
If your budget allows it, you should fly even further to Aitutaki, which is also considered to be the second most beautiful lagoon in the world, after Bora Bora. Quite a few would even prefer it to its French-Polynesian counterpart, as the prices here have not yet reached such astronomical dimensions. To stay with the comparison: It is sometimes said that Rarotonga is like Tahiti 30 years ago in terms of tourism development. So get there before you catch up.
Between July and October, a large number of tourists come to Tonga for a very specific reason: Here you have the best chances to snorkel with gigantic humpback whales (otherwise only possible in French Polynesia and on multi-day boat tours off the Dominican Republic). They stay there for a few months every year to mate and give birth to their young.
Most tours are offered from the Vava'u Archipelago. A little more than a dozen providers have a license to go out to sea with four to eight guests each, although only four people are allowed into the water to see the whales at a time. Sightings are not guaranteed, but are usually common several times a day.
Another tip: Better fly with Fiji Airways directly from Fiji to Vava'u and not with Real Tonga from the capital of Tonga. We have seen ourselves that in bad weather they repeatedly cancel flights for days, while Fiji Airways has always flown reliably with its larger aircraft.
You should put Samoa on your bucket list! Admittedly, the country in the South Pacific is not exactly easy to get to from the UK - but the trip is worth it! You will look in vain for large resorts, clubs and bars here. Instead, you can expect long sandy beaches, lined with palm trees, waterfalls, free roaming animals and lots of rainforest. Time runs a little slower here - the Samoans don't know stress.
We definitely recommend visiting both of the country's major islands. Savai'i is even less inhabited and the landscape is even more stunning than the sister island of Upolu. On the latter you will find the To Sua Ocean Trench: a green natural pool with crystal clear water. But get here early if you want to take photos because the place is very popular!
In Samoa, people sleep in traditional huts on the beach, the so-called fales. We especially liked the Falealupo Beach Fales , as the owners keep two pigs as pets, who love to be petted and fed with crackers. By the way, catering is always included with the Fales. The hosts cook for you and all guests eat together. Samoa can be called paradise with a clear conscience!
Of the many islands in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Chuuk Atoll is particularly popular with travellers, as you can dive countless wrecks there. Many sunk ships have been at a depth of just twenty meters since the Second World War.
When the Internet domain extensions were distributed in the 1990s, it turned out to be a real stroke of luck for Tuvalu. The ending .tv is popular with many television stations and shows. The small country earns around five million US dollars each year for registering and using such web addresses.
The South Pacific island nation is one of the first countries to celebrate the New Year every New Year's Eve, as the date line here makes a huge arc to the east. Before this change, it ran exactly between the islands, making sure that some of them were a whole day apart.
Niue is a small isolated coral island in the South Pacific, also known as "The Rock". Since it is east of the date line, you can fly here Tuesday morning and arrive in New Zealand on Monday afternoon. Niue maintains close relations with this country and there are now more than ten times as many Niueans in New Zealand than on Niue itself.
There are tons of curious facts to report about Nauru. Would you like some examples? The smallest island nation in the world also has the most obese population and for a short time in the 1960s it was the richest country (per capita) in the world because of its large phosphate deposits. In recent years it has hit the headlines because of the refugee camp that Australia set up there.
Turkmenistan & North Korea...
Both countries officially state that they do not have a single corona case, making them the only mainland states in this group. However, since both are among the most autocratically governed countries and reports from hospitals in Turkmenistan show the opposite, for example, these data are heavily questioned internationally.