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Best place to spend winter during a potential second wave of COVID?

Best place to spend winter during a potential second wave of COVID?

Old Jul 26, 20, 4:13 am
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Best place to spend winter during a potential second wave of COVID?

Bit of a hypothetical question. A friend and I are planning to take three or four months off over winter. If we see a second wave of COVID and a repeat of the same lockdown restrictions etc. where in the world would you jet off to and spend a few months (assuming no family or work commitments) based on what we know now about how countries were affected, how the crisis was managed by the Government and the level of lockdown restrictions imposed, weather, quality of life etc? Would be looking to rent a property via Airbnb or similar short term property rental company.

I'm based in the EU and so somewhere not too remote would be preferred in case I need to return at short notice.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:15 am
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Originally Posted by Saint4805 View Post
Bit of a hypothetical question. A friend and I are planning to take three or four months off over winter. If we see a second wave of COVID and a repeat of the same lockdown restrictions etc. where in the world would you jet off to and spend a few months (assuming no family or work commitments) based on what we know now about how countries were affected, how the crisis was managed by the Government and the level of lockdown restrictions imposed, weather, quality of life etc? Would be looking to rent a property via Airbnb or similar short term property rental company.

I'm based in the EU and so somewhere not too remote would be preferred in case I need to return at short notice.
I hear Antarctica is pretty safe.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:28 am
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The problem in the first instance will be, what countries can you get into, apart from perhaps the EU in your case. At the moment, it's simply too early to project: the vast part of the world remains off-limits. But based on current warmish open places, maybe the Sinai, maybe Antalya, maybe Oaxaca or someplace else in Mexico. Rumours that Bali will try to re-open as early as possible, so keep your eye there. But staying for several months is an immigration hassle.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:29 am
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Not that you would be allowed in here, but in New Zealand life is back to normal. The only thing not normal is that there are no tourists and we can't go on overseas holidays. But if you weren't the sort of person to do that, you would honestly not notice any difference.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
The problem in the first instance will be, what countries can you get into, apart from perhaps the EU in your case. At the moment, it's simply too early to project: the vast part of the world remains off-limits. But based on current warmish open places, maybe the Sinai, maybe Antalya, maybe Oaxaca or someplace else in Mexico. Rumours that Bali will try to re-open as early as possible, so keep your eye there. But staying for several months is an immigration hassle.
The immigration question is a good one. I imagine many will have exceeded visa stays due to being stranded and unable to get a flight out. I would like to think that authorities haven't been too harsh in that regard but I would look to ensure that I don't get caught out over winter by ensuring any visa length is at least 90 days.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:45 am
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Some places -- not all -- were considerate in extending stays without hassle. Others, like Australia, wanted foreigners out.

As well, what happened this past spring was unexpected, so there were some grounds for compassionate treatment. Folks who get stuck this winter arguably put themselves in the soup.

So to be on the safe side, I'd suggest you look at places where, under normal conditions, you can stay for six months or more, if necessary. That of course means the EU in your particular case, as well as Turkey and Mexico, which have relatively painless routes to longer stays.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:46 am
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I spent February in Hua Hin, Thailand, and ended up liking it a lot. Cheap hotels, great food, nice people, not so many tourists from China (this was a big consideration at the time).
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Last edited by NewbieRunner; Jul 28, 20 at 11:11 am Reason: Mod edit to conform to FT rule 12.2.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:56 am
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Except Thailand has been closed to new tourist arrivals since early spring. And they've been keeping those who arrived before closure on tenter-hooks, waiting till almost the last moment to announce another extension, this time until 26 September. Further, your initial stay as a tourist is limited to 30 days, and they may continue for months a US$100,000 insurance requirement. I'd strongly suggest the OP look to someplace where the initial stay is more like 90 days.

My own thought is that Asian countries are going to be re-opening far more slowly than countries in Europe and the Americas.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
Some places -- not all -- were considerate in extending stays without hassle. Others, like Australia, wanted foreigners out.

As well, what happened this past spring was unexpected, so there were some grounds for compassionate treatment. Folks who get stuck this winter arguably put themselves in the soup.

So to be on the safe side, I'd suggest you look at places where, under normal conditions, you can stay for six months or more, if necessary. That of course means the EU in your particular case, as well as Turkey and Mexico, which have relatively painless routes to longer stays.
A country that kept hotels/holiday lets open during this first wave would also be a good bet as I would assume that they would do the same during a second wave. Do you know if Turkey falls into that category? Antalya does sound appealing due to proximity, nice weather, food and very cheap if occupancy is low.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 5:04 am
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No, Turkey had a fairly strong lockdown during the peak period. And there's been no hesitation about reintroducing a degree of lockdown from time to time when the situation regresses. Best to read up on this yourself.

But it's clear that Turkey is making a major effort to re-establish its tourism business, while most other countries are still hunkering down. For the time being, it's less a question of finding a really good place to spend the winter than finding a place which on balance will work out OK. As said, unless there's a dramatic improvement in the pandemic, your choices are very limited.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 5:47 am
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Best place to spend winter during a potential second wave of Covid? Home.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 5:52 am
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Please let folks make their own decisions -- everyone is an adult here -- and stop spamming every single thread about travel alternatives with your "stay home" mantra. It adds nothing to the discussion and just moves us off the OP's topic.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
Best place to spend winter during a potential second wave of Covid? Home.
I was really glad to swap Shanghai for Thailand in February. Initially, I felt a little guilty about avoiding my work duties by lazing in paradise, but we weren't allowed to go to work then anyway.

889 Unlike China, Thailand's economy is heavily dependent upon tourism, especially from Europe, so I'm guessing they will open up to people from "safe" countries.

The Maldives is definitely open to all, and you get to do your quarantine at your resort, but I would go stir crazy if I spent more than a month there, and it's an order of magnitude more expensive.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
Please let folks make their own decisions -- everyone is an adult here -- and stop spamming every single thread about travel alternatives with your "stay home" mantra. It adds nothing to the discussion and just moves us off the OP's topic.
I gave an honest reply to the OPís question. And my position is supported by the national health services of most countries, and by the vast majority of medical doctors and other experts.
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Old Jul 26, 20, 6:27 am
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I am going to be facing a similar dilemma this winter.

I live in the EU and usually disappear to South Africa during the winter, but that is probably not going to be practical this year. Tanzania may be an alternative.

Mexico is starting to look like the most likely long haul destination. Bali might be a consideration too, depending on how freely they open up.

Within Europe, the Canary Islands would usually be the obvious choice, but given the heavy lockdowns and the severe restrictions that still exist in Spain, it is one that I'm wary of.

Greece and Malta are looking like possible options.
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