Pandemic is not over yet. But the presence of Covid-19 vaccines is like a ray of light illuminates the dark night.
63,2% of the world population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccines. 10,85 billion doses have been administered globally, and 21,74 million are now administered each day. Only 13% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose. Thanks to this research, the world is slowly become a little bit better, like many shops are opening, local events like sports events such as football or basketball is held again, and finally even some flights are starting to operate. This means soon we will enjoy the beauty of traveling again. And this process of vaccination will keep continue.
Even a number of countries seem to have now returned to normal conditions before the corona virus (Covid-19). In fact, a number of countries have freed their citizens from masks. In addition to suppressing corona cases, a number of countries have also managed to vaccinate more than 50% of their citizens. Here are the countries:
- South Korea
South Korea (South Korea) is the most recent country to free the use of masks. Last week, the KPOP state confirmed that masks would no longer be needed outdoors starting in July for those who have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The move is an attempt to encourage older residents to get vaccinated. South Korea aims to vaccinate at least 70% of its 52 million population by September. People given at least one dose will also be allowed to congregate in larger numbers from June. Prime Minister Kim Boo Kyum said all quarantine measures would be adjusted in October after more than 70% of the population received the first dose.
- United States of America
The United States (US) government allows its citizens to move without wearing a mask. However, with the condition that they must have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in full or twice. This was revealed by US President Joe Biden in a post on the White House’s official Instagram page. “Vaxxed or masks,” Biden said in the boomerang video. The White House also added a description in the video about the requirements for US citizens who wish to be able to carry out activities without wearing a mask. “The choice is yours. Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” the presidential palace wrote. Previously, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its latest public health guide that was just released said this provision applies both indoors and outdoors. The guide also describes some examples where people still need to wear masks such as in health care settings or in businesses that require them. This provision also applies to people who have received their last vaccine dose in two weeks or more, and are not allowed to wear a mask. The US itself uses Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The vaccine used has 90% efficacy.
Hungarian Prime Minister (PM) Viktor Orban claims his government has succeeded in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. In a press conference on Friday (21/5/2021), Orban said Hungary had vaccinated nearly 5 million citizens. He added that now is a good time to part with the use of masks in public places. “Goodbye, mask,” he said. “This means that we have succeeded in defeating the third wave of the pandemic,” Orban continued. The far-right leader also said he would lift most Covid-19 restrictions, including a curfew. Orban said the public could hold meetings of up to 500 people. The condition is that the meeting is held in the open air. While the event in a closed room applies to residents who already have a vaccination card.
- New Zealand
New Zealand is also a country that is free from the use of masks. This has happened since last April, where more than 50,000 New Zealanders packed the Eden Park stadium on Saturday (24/4/2021) to watch the biggest live concert since the pandemic began. New Zealand’s success in eradicating Covid-19 cannot be separated from the government’s quick action, which immediately implemented a lockdown after 2,600 cases and 26 deaths due to Covid-19. In this concert, people do not wear masks and there is no warning to keep their distance. Spectators were only scanned with a tool when entering and the concert committee provided hand sanitizer at various stadium venues.
China was the first country to report a case of Covid-19. This happened in the province of Wuhan. No doubt, the virus is said to have originated from that country. China was also the first to be affected by its economy due to the social restrictions imposed. However, it is also the first country to emerge from this pandemic. Currently, Wuhan is reported to have succeeded in tackling Covid-19 and is free to gather together without wearing a mask. In fact, several music festivals have been held to celebrate this freedom, one of which is the Wuhan Music Strawberry Festival which was attended by 11 thousand people. Wuhan residents joined in the singing, shouting loudly, following the favourite acts of the band that appeared on stage.
Australia is also one of the countries that is very fast and responsive in dealing with Covid-19. When the cases widen, the government immediately implements a strict lockdown to control it. Its citizens also obey health protocols so that positive cases in the country are quickly contained. Therefore, Australia has also allowed tourists to enter the country, but only from countries that are already free of Covid-19 such as New Zealand. With this good response, currently citizens are not required to wear masks when carrying out their activities. However, when traveling by public transportation and while in hospital, the public is asked to continue to wear masks.
Bhutan is one of the countries that has vaccinated 90% of its citizens in just two weeks. since the start of the pandemic, the country has reported only one death. Quoted from the Economic Times, although Bhutan shares its borders with India and China, the country has never really been hit by a pandemic due to its timely actions. Besides, Bhutan is controlling the pandemic situation even without going into lockdown
Israel has also waived the mandatory use of masks since April. More than 50% of residents have also been fully vaccinated. Like the US, Israel uses the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. However, a number of restrictions are still in place to prevent a new variant of the corona from entering the country.
And now you’re wondering somehow. Do any countries allow travel without Covid-19 vaccines? We know that somehow there are people who can’t get vax because of their health condition. And though it may seem strange, a number of countries have begun to relax travel rules during the pandemic, and it has made traveling different. Not as free as before, protocol policies continue to change to co-exist with Covid-19. Many countries make a living from tourism, so they can’t help but open up and welcome tourists. Even in the midst of a pandemic, they still accept tourists to help the economy. There are various policies implemented, ranging from PCR, quarantine to vaccines. Now the most often echoed is the obligation of vaccines. Reporting from the Times of India, there are seven countries we know, that still accept tourists without vaccines. So, here are seven countries that have opened state gates for tourists who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19;
Travelers who want to vacation in Greece will be asked to fill out a passenger Locator form. This form must be filled out at least one day prior to arrival. This form will contain detailed information regarding the location of the traveller’s departure and duration of stay in other countries. In addition to this form, travellers will also be asked to submit a negative Covid-19 test result obtained within 72 hours of arriving in Greece. Tourists entering Greece do not need vaccines. Submitting vaccinations will greatly facilitate the procedure upon arrival. However, in no case are vaccination certificates or antibodies considered a passport.
Portugal is open to unvaccinated visitors. Tourists only need to provide proof of a PCR test with a negative result taken within 72 hours of arrival. If you want an antigen, you can, the condition is that it is taken 48 hours after arrival. Travelers must also submit a travel questionnaire prior to departure. What a traveller needs to make sure before traveling to Portugal is the document for the flight departure. Even though this country does not need a vaccine certificate, some airlines with Portugal routes still need it.
Croatia is also a country that does not need a vaccine certificate from tourists. Incoming tourists only need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. For travellers who use an antigen test, that’s also possible. Negative evidence of an antigen test must be obtained within 48 hours of arrival. Tourists can even enter Croatia with a doctor’s certificate proving that they have recovered from Covid-19. Tourists only need to submit a positive test result between 11 and 180 days prior to arrival.
Turkey does provide a vaccine certificate requirement for travellers who enter there. But apparently, there are certain rules that allow tourists to enter without a vaccine certificate. Travellers only need to present evidence of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to their arrival. If you want an antigen, you can also undergo an antigen test within 48 hours of their arrival. Travelers who have been exposed to Covid-19 can show evidence that they have recovered in the last six months. Furthermore, tourists will be asked to show an online form filled out 72 hours before the trip. You also have the opportunity to undergo a medical examination without a vaccine certificate.
Mexico is open to all tourists. As per current reports, there is no requirement for visitors to give a negative PCR test or quarantine upon arrival. Travelers will be asked to fill out a form in advance and present the QR code from the form upon entering the country. The on-site resort also asks guests to fill out a health questionnaire upon arrival.
Maldives was one of the first countries to open borders to tourists. All arriving visitors will be required to provide a negative PCR test upon arrival. A negative PCR test must also be issued no later than 96 hours before departure. Meanwhile, visitors who are fully vaccinated do not have to undergo quarantine. Tourists who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed in but will have to self-isolate for 14 days and take an exit test before leaving quarantine.
- Costa Rica
Lastly, there is Costa Rica. The country accepts unvaccinated tourists under stricter rules. Unlike other countries, unvaccinated travellers will not be required to present a Covid-19 test. However, the travellers must purchase a special medical travel insurance and attach it to the Health Pass.
Now you know that some countries, or maybe these few countries are allowed to travel without vaccine, however, lets discuss a little bit about this anti-vax group. Granted, there are some people who may still refuse vaccines. Among them there are even some public figures or celebrities or even athletes. So, vaccine or not? Of course this is not a wise question. However, vaccines are obtained from research and trials with strict medical and academic protocols. This complicated and expensive thing is definitely not for public consumption. As a layman, you must entrust it to experts owned by the state.
The long Covid-19 pandemic that has hit all walks of life is definitely not a trivial matter. Finances, both private and owned by the public, such as the state, can be predicted to be heavily affected by the problem of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccines are hope, as long as discoveries emerge as stopping or preventing the spread of infectious epidemics. In order to reduce the risk of being exposed to this deadly virus, of course the government’s move to hold free vaccinations for people aged 18 years can be a good opportunity for us to increase herd immunity. However, the risk of being exposed to the Covid-19 virus is still there. In addition, there are side effects from vaccines that can make our body condition weaker because each person’s immune system is different.
But again, It is not impossible, those who have been vaccinated will be exposed to this virus for the second time and infect people who live under the same roof. The PCR test is an emergency requirement that must be met in the current pandemic conditions. The reason is, if there is one person who lives with you is exposed to Covid-19, then all family members must undergo a Covid-19 test. That’s why you need an emergency fund, especially if you’re planning to go travel.
In addition to the Covid-19 test, an emergency fund will greatly help those of you who have to undergo self-isolation to buy needed items such as groceries, supplements, sanitation equipment, and others. For a few people, a professional residential disinfectant spraying service is also needed after the exposed householder has tested negative. The amount of the emergency fund cannot be the same for everyone. In essence, provide an emergency fund, which is the equivalent of six times your monthly expenses.
A lot of information also states that elderly people or those who have comorbidities (congenital diseases) have the potential to experience negative effects from the vaccine. It is not impossible, these side effects make us fall sick and have to undergo treatment in the hospital. In order to mitigate the financial risk due to this problem, we also need health insurance. Health insurance can also cover the cost of the Covid-19 test if there is a referral from the hospital or doctor concerned.
A number of people in certain groups have a high risk of dying after exposure to COVID-19. Call it like those who have congenital critical illness. If these people are the main breadwinners in the family, it is very important to ensure that they have life insurance. The sum insured in life insurance will be disbursed and received by the beneficiaries if the insured loses the ability to earn a living due to death or loss of body function (total permanent disability).
To prevent the risk of being exposed to the Covid-19 virus, vaccination alone is certainly not enough. There must be a strong commitment from ourselves to always comply with health protocols. Use a mask, keep your distance, and maintain cleanliness to minimize the spread of this virus. So you want a vaccine or not? Life safety and health are expensive goods. It needs to be anticipated with careful preparation in various ways, both the readiness of the soul, mind and all financial readiness that can be seen with the eyes. Despite what some of these people whether it is a celebrities or public figure have said, the COVID vaccines are proven to be safe. To learn more about the safety of COVID vaccines, you can check out the CDC’s website. Vaccine or not? Not an important question isn’t it?