“Nearly a year and a half into the pandemic, the best and worst places to be in the Covid-19 era are increasingly defined by one thing: normalisation,” says Bloomberg.
The biggest vaccination campaign in history is enabling some parts of the world to begin to abolish the use of masks in the street, relax restrictions and ease barriers at borders. “The central point is the opening of an economy to the world”, says the financial news agency, adding that for that reason it has introduced a new element of analysis in the ranking - reopening progress.
Two new metrics on ease of entry and exit from a location and recovery of air travel were also introduced, along with 10 other measures that track different data, from mortality rates to infected counts, freedom of movement and economic growth. This methodology introduced changes in the ranking and now “the US is number one, with rapid and expansive implementation of the vaccine”, after having had “the worst outbreak in the world”.
According to the study “restaurants are busy, masks aren’t needed for those vaccinated, and Americans are going on holiday again, encouraged by a vaccination that covers half the population, while a 1.9 billion dollars economic stimulus package (about €1.6 billion at the current exchange rate) and the increase in inoculation contribute to increased consumer confidence. Because of the shift in the ‘ranking’ focus, we are not comparing directly to last month,” Bloomberg notes.
In second place is New Zealand, followed by Switzerland, Israel, France, Spain, Australia, mainland China, United Kingdom and South Korea, the latter in tenth place. “European countries like Switzerland, France and Spain are in the top 10 as they are opening the borders for vaccinated tourists, while hospitalisations are decreasing thanks to the inoculation,” Bloomberg said.
Portugal occupies the 29th place, after Germany (28th), being above Hong Kong (30th), the Czech Republic (31st) and Russia (32nd). Below Portugal we find countries including Poland (35th), Brazil (41st), South Africa (42nd), India (50th) and Argentina (53rd and last place in the ranking).