Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

Here are the last ‘COVID-free places’ on Earth – including this part of SA

Believe it or not, there is still a handful of places left on this planet that are COVID-free. But you might need some help finding them on a globe…

here are the last covid free places on earth including this part of sa - Here are the last ‘COVID-free places’ on Earth – including this part of SA

Coronavirus has been reported as ‘active’ in Greenland, Antarctica, and even in parts of the Amazon Rainforest. You’d be forgiven for thinking if it can reach there, then it can reach anywhere. But that’s apparently not the case: As it stands, there are seven autonomous territories that have stayed completely COVID-free, and another nine have ‘eradicated’ the virus.

List of COVID-free places in 2021

You may be surprised to see that New Zealand doesn’t make this list, despite its phenomenal response to the pandemic. Although the country has gone long periods of time without any active cases, there are currently six people in quarantine with the illness (as of Monday 18 January 2021). So, on that technicality, they miss out…

For many of you, this may be the first time you’ve heard of any of these nations. Their low profiles and awkward locations have been pivotal in keeping them COVID-free – and with vaccines on the way, these savvy governments may have just guided their compatriots through one of the worst global pandemics on record – completely unscathed.

Countries and territories which have reported ZERO coronavirus cases

  • Cook Islands: Get used to the phrase ‘Pacific Territory’ – because almost all COVID-free countries reside here.
  • Kiribati: The island nation is one of the most remote destinations in the world – even COVID couldn’t reach it.
  • Tonga: The Pacific Territory implemented tough quarantine rules on inbound and outbound travellers, and it worked a treat.
  • Palau: Not only have they got a ‘COVID clean sheet’, but they are set to administer the Moderna vaccine in April.
  • Tuvalu: With a population under 12 000, and a surface area of 10 square miles, the virus hasn’t yet found this needle in the haystack.
  • Nauru: It may have the highest number of ‘obese citizens per capita’ in the world – but they’ve so far outrun this pandemic.
  • Saint Helena (South Atlantic Ocean): There’s a reason Napoleon was sent here to live in exile – it’s as remote as it gets. Saint Helena, the only non-Pacific Territory on this list, is amongst a chain of islands that are the furthest away from any other landmass on the planet.

Countries and territories which are now reporting ZERO ACTIVE coronavirus cases

  • Anguilla: The Caribbean island has only recorded 15 cases, and we’re glad to report there were 15 recoveries.
  • Fiji: One of the largest countries to stifle the pandemic, early implementation of strict border controls kept cases to just 55.
  • Macau: This ‘special administrative region of China’ has now had no new cases since June 2020.
  • Marshall Islands: Just the four cases for this… say it with us… Pacific Territory.
  • Laos: The tourist favourite had to close its borders early, and remarkably, only reported 41 non-fatal COVID cases.
  • Montserrat: One death, and just 13 cases for an island More accustomed to volcanic disasters than ones sparked by pandemics.
  • Samoa: It’s the second-best performer of any places now deemed ‘COVID-free’, confirming just two positive tests.
  • Tajikistan: The central Asian nation has eradicated the virus, bringing a peak of 13 000 cases down to zero.
  • Vanuatu: Rotten luck, lads. You could’ve been with your other Pacific Territories in the COVID-free list. But sadly, that solitary positive test recorded in November has knocked you down a peg.
  • North Korea and Turkmenistan remain omitted from this list. Neither has reported any COVID-19 cases, but both totalitarian regimes control state media and data released to the rest of the world, hence making their figures unreliable.

(All data taken from Worldometer, John Hopkins University, and Borgen)

The part of South Africa that remains COVID-free

About 1 800km south of South Africa lies both Prince Edward Island and Marion Island. They are collectively referred to as the Prince Edward Islands. They’re essentially the halfway point between SA and north-east Antarctica.

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Photo: Marion Island / Press Release

Funnily enough, the Prince Edward Islands are also part of Ward 116 of the Mother City, and they fall under the jurisdiction of the Cape Town Magistrates Court. It’s a heck of a long way to if you need planning permission for a new fence, put it that way. But due to the isolated location, and strict rules on travel, it’s now South Africa’s only official ‘COVID-free territory’.

a7ab9b50 marion island 2 - Here are the last ‘COVID-free places’ on Earth – including this part of SA
Photo: Huub Eggen / ISS

You can’t visit these islands of South Africa unless you are part of a research team. So you better get revising your marine biology, if you feel like securing yourself a remote hideaway ahead of the next global pandemic…

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SA research station on Marion Island – Photo: @SAgovnews

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