Through proper planning, stringent measures, and an aggressive vaccine rollout, these nations are soon set to party like it was 2019.
It’s bee over a year since the COVID-19 has severely affected the way we eat, work, and go about our daily lives. While many countries continue to struggle, the Philippines included—the highest single-day tally of COVID cases was reported on March 22, and the government has implemented new restrictions that covers “NCR Plus”—there are other nations around the world that are seeing the light at the end of this tunnel.
There are a handful of countries that have gotten the virus in control, so much so that they have relaxed the mandatory mask wearing and social distancing rules prevalent all over the world. More, hopefully, are set to join them soon as more aggressive vaccine rollouts are in motion throughout 2021.
Last January, a crowd of 20,000 attended New Zealand’s biggest concert since it declared a lockdown a year ago. Social distancing and masks were not required as Kiwis welcomed 2021 at various festivals across their country. Their Alert Level currently remains at Level 1, the lowest in their monitoring system.
The Tsai Ing-wen-led East Asian nation has been lauded all over the world for its successfully-executed measures against COVID. They had fewer than 1,000 cases, a remarkable statistic given that they have a population of 24 million. Today, according to a New York Times piece, it’s proving to be an oasis in the middle of the pandemic, with offices and establishments packed across its capital Taipei.
Since the second wave of the outbreak last December, the Thai government has lifted many quarantine restrictions following the significant reduction of new cases. Its tourism is beginning to get back on its fit, has even introduced a lavish version of required isolation, “Digital Yacht Quarantine.” Tourists can take their yachts to Thai shores and spend their 14-day quarantine period within the bounds of their respective yachts.
Establishments such as nightclubs and bars have been allowed to reopen in Ho Chi Minh, while Hanoi has been granted the reopening of internet gaming parlors and interprovincial bus routes. Cinemas have also reopened over the December-January holidays, with Vietnamese box office sales totaling around $1.4 million in the first three days of the year.
As of writing, Hong Kong has reported the least amount of new COVID cases since March of last year. Movie theaters, theme parks, gaming arcades, bowling alleys, and ice skating rinks have reopened since last month. After Chinese New Year, kindergarten, primary, and secondary schools have also reopened on a half-day basis, with a 30 percent cap on students.
More than half of Israel’s 9-million-strong population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. With this, the country has implemented a “passport” system, A “Green Pass” is granted to those who have received both doses of the vaccine. The general public is allowed to enter malls and museums, however only Green Pass holders are eligible to access gyms, hotels, theatres, and concerts.