From next month the Maldives is ready to welcome tourists with no restrictions. Tourist board spokesperson says that the Indian Ocean destination will be open for tourists of all nationalities in July.
However, travelers will have to provide a medical certificate that shows that they are not a carrier of the virus. And show a negative Covid-19 test report. Moreover, the country is allowing tourists to enter without prior testing. Also, there is no quarantine requirement after landing in the Maldives.
Furthermore, there are no changes in visa requirements. Secondly, there is no additional fee.
Presently, anyone having a yacht or private jet can go immediately. But, others will have to wait a few more weeks.
The Maldives closed its borders in March. But, last month it announced the reopening of borders. The country is allowing flights to land at its main international airport starting in July.
“We are planning to reopen our borders for visitors in July 2020,” said the Tourism Minister in an official statement.
Most importantly the statement stated that there would be no additional fees for the visitors. Such as extra tourist visa charges and landing fees.
Effect of the Pandemic
There have been about 2,000 confirmed cases and five deaths from coronavirus up till now.
The country closed its international borders when it reported its first case. Since then around 30 resorts have stayed open. Guests were staying in those resorts, self-isolating themselves in the Maldives instead of going back home.
Previously the officials were suggesting reopening this popular honeymoon destination towards the end of the year. But this has been brought forward.
The government is encouraging tourism facilities to practice SOPs according to government guidelines. This will not only give more confidence to travelers but in return, the government will issue a “Safe Tourism License” for these facilities.
Moreover, the government ensuring is these facilities have an on-call certified medical doctor. Secondly, it is making them keep adequate stock of Personal Protective Equipment.
The original SOP’s were demanding the tourists to have a confirmed booking of the facility with a license. But this seems valid no more.
Last month, Ali Waheed, the country’s minister for tourism in a statement said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is “more devastating than the 2004 tsunami and the 2008 global financial crisis.”
In addition, he said, “For the first time in 47 years of tourism in the Maldives, we have experienced zero tourist arrival since this March. We cannot keep our borders closed for long.”
In 2019 more than 1.7 million tourists visited the Maldives. This year the country is expecting the numbers to rise to two million.