Are there STILL Countries Without Coronavirus in 2021?

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List of Countries Without Coronavirus (2021)

Is it possible that there are still countries without coronavirus?

It’s been a year since the pandemic took us all by surprise in 2020. First appearing in late December and becoming global news by mid-January, it wasn’t long before COVID-19 spread around the world, eventually reaching all 7 continents and developing into the pandemic that continues to cause disruption around the world still today.

So, is it possible that there are countries still out there that managed to avoid the pandemic entirely? The answer, almost unbelievably, is yes. There are still countries without coronavirus. That is, there are still countries that COVID-19 has yet to enter at all, in any capacity; whether it be a border case or in any other form. These countries have yet to have ANY cases of coronavirus at all.

But, there’s not that many. And they all have one thing in common. Isolation.

Let’s take a look at the countries without coronavirus, just how they managed to do it, and what affects their policy may otherwise be having on the country.

List of Countries Without Coronavirus

The UN officially recognises 193 countries, and this is the list I am using to identify ‘countries’. So it doesn’t include territories etc, but rather a recognised UN country.

The following is a list of countries without COVID-19 that have not declared a case of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The cases of Turkmenistan and North Korea are widely disputed and it is presumed by experts that these countries have simply not declared their COVID-19 cases due to their inherently secretive nature. Nevertheless, I will include them as part of this list, but bearing this in mind, I will only refer to the remaining 5 countries in further paragraphs.

  1. North Korea
  2. Turkmenistan
  3. Kiribati
  4. Tonga 
  5. Palau 
  6. Tuvalu 
  7. Nauru 

tonga

How to Remain a Country Without Coronavirus?

So – how did they do it?

Well, they have one advantage. They are all small, isolated Pacific island nations. And their biggest connection to the ‘outside world’ is New Zealand and Australia, both countries that have been praised for their strict and effective handling of the pandemic. They were all extremely strict themselves in terms of policies to keep the virus out.

The pacific islands did pretty well in general for many months in 2020. It was only at the beginning of October that the Solomon Islands was taken off this list, and at the end of October, the Marshall Islands also saw their first case. In November Vanuatu also declared its first case, as did Samoa in December. The most recent country to declare its first case of COVID-19 is Micronesia who declared their first COVID-19 case on the 8th January 2021. Now the countries Tonga, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu remain.

Kiribati

KIRIBATI, (POPULATION: 119,451)

The country declared a state of emergency from 30th March and schools closed for 2 weeks.

Until now, there are no commercial flights to Kiribati.

Beautiful beaches free of tourists in Tonga.
Beautiful beaches empty of tourists in Tonga.

Tonga

TONGA, OCEANIA (POPULATION: 105,695)

Since it has been strict with travel rules since February, with those entering needing a note of health from a doctor, Tonga has managed to keep the virus out. On 29th March, Tonga went into lockdown for 3 weeks. During the time, it tested a number of people who were feared to have coronavirus but all tests came back negative. It has since kept its borders closed with only fortnightly flights from New Zealand, Fiji, and Samoa arriving for repatriation purposes. All those repatriated must quarantine for 3 weeks at a designated location which is guarded 24/7 by both police and military.

Any post or shipments that come into Tonga must also undergo quarantine for 5 days upon their arrival.

Read more about Tonga remaining COVID-free.

Palau

PALAU, OCEANIA (POPULATION: 18,094)

Like much of the Pacific, Palau has remained closed for tourism throughout the lockdown. They had one feared case of COVID-19 as a passenger arrived from Guam, but the result came back negative.

Tuvalu

TUVALU, OCEANIA (POPULATION: 11,793)

Already with an advantage as it is often referred to as one of the least visited countries in the world, Tuvalu sees around a mere 200 tourists per year.

Like its (distant) neighbours, Tuvalu has remained closed to tourism for the duration of the pandemic so far.

countries without coronavirus

Nauru

NAURU, OCEANIA (POPULATION: 10,823)

Often referred to as the least visited country in the world, it’s not a surprise that Nauru has managed to stay COVID-19 free, since travel is the basic way in which coronavirus has been spreading about the world.

The country is so small and you can walk around it in a day. With such a small population they also have an advantage in terms of keeping the virus at bay.

Nauru is also closed for tourism.

Does a COVID-19 free country mean a COVID-19 free life?

COVID-19 has affected many aspects of life for every country globally – no matter whether they have the virus or not. The biggest impacts that these small already isolated island nations suffer under is yet more isolation, with all the borders closed and little to none air and boat traffic. Many of the citizens on these islands have family and friends stuck abroad and not yet able to be repatriated back due to big waiting lists, and also have to deal with slower and fewer shipments from abroad. Many of these shipments contain much needed medical and food supplies for the population.

It has also left a few people stuck on these islands who can’t get home.

This is not even considering the economic impact and the various industries suffering under these strict coronavirus measures on already poor countries. The pandemic hits the tourism industry the hardest, but also affect hospitality and other industries.

Should the virus get into these countries, it should also be considered that with few hospitals, doctors and a lack of medical equipment, it could have detrimental effects on a society already struggling with conditions such as diabetes – as many pacific island countries are. This is also a key factor as to why these countries are being so strict with their pandemic measures.

So whilst there are countries without coronavirus still out there, that doesn’t mean that COVID-19 has not left an impression on these countries; an impression that, as with all other countries across the globe, will probably have long-lasting effects.

Zoe Stephens
Zoe is a freelance writer from Liverpool, UK. She spends her time traveling between China, where she is based, and North Korea, where she works as a tour guide for Koryo Tours. You can follow her journey and see her content from North Korea on Instagram (@zoediscovers) and YouTube. You can see more about her life stuck on Tonga on Instagram @tongadiaries.

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7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Taiwan should be up there. While there are cases, it’s thus far under control (<1,000 cases since the start). For having such a high population density and being so close to China they've definitely done an amazing job.

  2. I think there are no cases in North Korea because if you exhibit any symptom, you’re taken out and shot. So you never get a chance to test positive.

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