According to the UN, there are 193 countries in the world plus two observer states. Today we reached one million coronavirus cases in the world. It seems almost impossible to think that there are still countries without Coronavirus. There are officially 15 countries without a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Updated on 12 April 2020.
The 15 countries without Coronavirus (currently):
Comoros, Kiribati, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Korea, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
We have visited the majority of them and here is a little explanation on why these 15 countries without coronavirus might still be virus-free.
The least visited countries in the world are often in the Pacific
Ten of these countries can be found in the Pacific ocean. And many of them are considered to be the least visited countries in the world. Especially Nauru and Tuvalu.
It is so small you can run around the entire country – it’s only a loop of 18km. Nauru is known for controversial detention centres and a difficult visa. This might be the reason why not many people visit, although it has a good flight connection to a few countries with its own airline.
However, most flights have now been suspended. Nauru is currently connected only with one weekly flight with Brisbane, Australia. It is a perfect recipe for why Nauru is on the list of countries without coronavirus today. We have visited Nauru at the start of February and a detailed health check was already implemented.
This tiny country is known for one thing – it might not be inhabitable in just a few decades. The impact of climate change and the rising of sea levels is threatening the country as a whole.
You don’t need more than half a day to explore the main island of Funafuti, but it is the runway that stands for the FUN in Funafuti. At sunset, it turns into a social centre: locals play sports such as volleyball or football.
As there are only 3 flights per week (now even less) there is no reason why not to use this space. The limited flight connection to other places might be the main reason why Tuvalu is one of the countries without coronavirus cases.
Four islands make out the Federated States of Micronesia. This off the beaten path destination is fantastic for those who love to dive. We managed to get stranded here in February as the country has implemented very strict rules to prevent coronavirus from spreading.
You were not allowed to enter Micronesia if you have transited through a country with a known case. There is no surprise this country is on the list of countries without coronavirus.
We unintentionally visited this country twice in February. There are only two airlines that fly into the Marshall Islands, so not many come to visit.
During our time we found out that the country has already implemented rules around cargo ships. The crew were not allowed to disembark unless they have been sailing for more than 14 days and therefore cleared the 14 days quarantine.
Tonga & Vanuatu
We visited both islands and had a fantastic time. Health checks were already the norm 6 weeks ago there. Today they remain as part of the countries without coronavirus.
These four countries are also part of the countries with no coronavirus. All four countries strict measures and therefore we had to cancel our plans to visit these countries in February.
The most common one was a 14-day quarantine for all new arrivals or no entry for foreigners.
As for now, these measures have protected all the countries of the Pacific listed above from the virus. Considering their size and the limited health services they clearly understood the threat before the rest of the world.
On the 23rd of March Comoros has suspended all international flights to limit the spread of coronavirus from neighbouring countries. Some believe their mass anti-malarial treatment might have helped with the prevention of the spread.
This tiny kingdom in southern Africa is still virus-free. Encircled by South Africa (currently has the highest number of cases in Africa) – it seems almost unlikely to not have any cases of COVID-19.
All travellers arriving in Lesotho are screened for coronavirus. Lesotho has also announced restrictions on movement until 21st of April. Let’s hope it will help.
Asia: North Korea & Turkmenistan and Tajikistan
Both North Korea and Turkmenistan claim there are no cases of coronavirus. But the proximity to two countries (China and Iran) with a major outbreak makes this very unlikely.
North Korea shares a border with China and foreigners on organised tours and Chinese can cross into North Korea relatively easily. In fact, Chinese visitors make up the bulk of foreign visitors.
North Korea closed its borders to all international tourists on January 21 one of the first countries to do so. But as many goods are smuggled into North Korea from China, the virus might have spread.
Some believe for North Korea not to have a single case is impossible.
One of the strangest countries in Central Asia also claims to have no cases of coronavirus. We have spent a week here before crossing the busy border with Iran a few years ago. You can read about our experience here.
A coffee lover, history junkie, former tour guide, and endless optimist. The mastermind of logistics and chief navigator for Very Hungry Nomads, two women on an adventure to visit EVERY country in the world. Marty is a social butterfly who describes her life as “just livin’ the dream".