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If you're an avid traveler, I'm sure the last 2 years have been devastating for you not being able to travel. For many people, travel is a way of expressing themselves and finding a deeper, more authentic happiness. Some people travel to escape their reality, and now they were forced to stay indoors during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on tourism worldwide; people all over have suffered severely due to the lack of tourism and the harsh restrictions placed on travel. Although travel was highly restricted, some people could still travel during this uncertain time.
It is reported on SchengenVisa statistics that approximately 480 000 visas were issued for the year 2021. Making it the most visited Schengen country of 2021. It's interesting to note that during 2020 - when the Covid-19 pandemic started, approximately 550 000 Visa were issued for international travelers.
This was a considerable blow to tourism as France could see up to 3.3 million visas being issued in a ‘normal’ year such as 2019.
As of November 2020, France had one of the highest rates of prevalence in Europe, with around 2 million cases of infection. And although faced with much scrutiny, France was said to act too late in their fight to combat the spread of the virus.
Secondly, Spain saw an amount of 380 000 Visa being issued during 2021, compared to 265 000 Visas being issued in 2020. Spain was one of the most prominent hit countries in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the virus spread so fast and undetected in Spain, primarily affecting elderly people. Due to the sociable nature of Spain, it's believed that the virus quickly spread between younger members and their older family ties.
A study by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia determined that more than 2 million of Spain's 47 million population had been infected. Spain had to drastically monitor and curb the spread of the virus resulting in severe lockdowns. It is expected that the number of visas issued during 2020 & 2021 will be significantly lower than the 1.6 million visas issued during a ‘normal’ year like 2019.
As of June 2022, Spain has seen more than 12.6 million Covid-19 infections. Due to extensive vaccination efforts, more than 86% of Spain has been vaccinated.
Thirdly, Greece is charting at number 3 for the most visited Schengen countries. In 2021, 240 000 visas were issued for the year 2021. During the year 2020, approximately 95 000 visas were issued for international travelers. Compared to the numbers of visas issued in France during 2020, Greece's statistics are significantly lower, and it leads me to believe that with the onset of Covid-10, Greece took more aggressive steps to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Despite Greece’s fragile economy and high elderly population, Greece has managed to escape complete devastation due to the raging pandemic. But their tremendous success in managing the Covid-19 pandemic didn't come with no downfalls. Greece is a country severely reliant on tourism for its economy, and Covid-19 handed them a devastating blow. In 2019 around 830 000 visas were issued, which is much more than the 95 000 Visas in 2020.
Germany issued 267 000 visas in 2021 and 343 000 visas in 2020. Germany was hit very hard during the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, where they recorded a record number of cases for the country. Germany took drastic measures to curb the spread of the disease by limiting access to the country.
In 2019 Germany issued approximately 1.9 million visas. This number is drastically higher than these of 2020 and 2019.
In 2021 approximately 200 000 visas were issued, while in 2020 167 000 visas were issued. Compared to the other countries, the Czech Republic issued the least amount of visas during the pandemic. The Czech republic quickly declared a national state of disaster in 2019 and actively took measures to contain the spread of the virus. Like most other countries, the Czech Republic’s economy was hit hard by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019 the Czech Republic issued 699 000 visas.
Although these countries had the highest visit rates during the pandemic, traveling was difficult. Each country came with its own set of strict protocols and rules for entering their country, and these protocols caused many people to cancel and re-schedule their holidays.
As the world slowly re-opens for tourism it's considerably easier to travel now assuming you can comply with each countries Covid-19 travel protocals. Most of these countries are very reliant on the extreme economic growth they get from tourism, and now more than ever they need tourists to visit their countries after the devastating effects Covid-19 has had worldwide.
Let’s discover the possibilties of travelling to these countries now:
The French borders have eased their Covid-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers as of February 2020. France has expressed their great hopes for tourism to increase from 2022 drastically. They expect to welcome 33 million visitors in 2022 - that is still significantly lower than the 38 million visitors they welcomed in 2019. This is a step in the right direction.
Spain has recently scrapped all its Covid-19 rules for travelers from the EU and Schengen regions. For other travelers, there are still a few Covid-19 measures in place, one of the most crucial being fully vaccinated. In February of 2022, Spain’s tourism already recovered by 660% compared to the previous year. Spain is eager to recover to pre-pandemic tourism levels during 2022. Make sure to check out the Spain Covid-19 information, requirements and visa fees.
Unlike the other countries, very few restrictions are still in place for entering Greece. Greece does not require proof of vaccinations to enter as of May 2022. Before the onset of the pandemic, Greece reached a high of 34 million visitors. Internation arrivals increased drastically by 250% in the first 2 months of 2022, and this number is set to increase much more as restrictions on travel ease worldwide. Make sure to check out the Greece Covid-19 information, requirements and visa fees.
All travel restrictions have been lifted for the time being. Any traveler can enter Germany without proof of vaccine or a negative PCR test. All travel purposes are allowed, including work and visits. Before the pandemic, Germany welcomed about 40 million travelers. Germany hopes to welcome about 60 million international travelers in 2022. Check out the Germany Tourist Visa - Visiting Visa requirements and how to apply.
Any arrivals can freely enter the Czech Republic without showing any Covid-19 documentation. In 2019 around 10 million people visited the Czech Republic. Tourism is bouncing back in 2022, as the Czech Republic welcomed 2.8 million travelers in the first quarter of 2022. Have a look at the Czech Republic Visa application and requirements.
Always make sure to check each country's travel restrictions before you go. It is essential to remember that these countries require visas - How Long Does It Take To Get A Schengen Visa - The Processing Time, and More. Also have a look at Schengen visa interview questions and how to ace them. Remember that Atlys is the only way to get your Visa hassle-free!
Besides the fact that these are the most-visited Schengen countries during the Covid-19 timeframe, these are still highly sought-after holiday destinations in 2022. France and Spain are considered the most visited countries in the world. Would you consider traveling to any of these countries?