As you hunker at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, dreaming of future vacation plans, there might be a few destinations you’ll want to reconsider. The newest Travel Risk Map, created by medical and safety experts at International SOS, shows Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Central African Republic as danger zones and the top places to avoid when traveling.
Data for 2021 was released in December 2020 by the company, which specializes in medical services. Security and risk professionals assess country safety by looking at factors such as medical, security, and travel threats to determine list rank. As Switzerland Global Enterprises’ website explained, “It displays each country’s respective up-to-date medical, security, and road safety risk ratings, resulting in a thorough overview of risks by destination.” Other things taken into account include political violence, crime, social unrest, and the effectiveness of infrastructure like transportation. Emergency protocols are also considered.
Data is analyzed through a point system. Medical and security categories are rated out of five points, “while road safety is rated out of four based on the mortality rate per 100,000 people,” reported the Manchester Evening News.
Destinations to avoid visiting
Areas ranked as highest of the high-risk destinations are mostly found in Africa. Those places requiring extra caution from visitors (and perhaps a second thought before even going there in the first place) including South Sudan, Mali, Yemen, Somalia, and the Maiduguri section of Nigeria. “More than 55 percent of countries in Africa are now fully or partially in the ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ security risk level after increases in militancy or insurgency,” reported the Independent.
If you’re worried about staying healthy, the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa offer the least chance for catching illness — at least, according to pre-pandemic data. The lowest risk earners overall, labeled as “Insignificant,” or the safest places to be, were Europe in general, and in particular Denmark, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Luxembourg, and safest of all, Iceland.
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