The Maldives set to welcome foreign tourists from mid July

The Maldives set to welcome foreign tourists from mid July

Expert Reports  

After almost four months of closure imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Maldives recently announced its plan to re-open its borders for international tourists from July 15.

According to a media report, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced in an address to the nation that resorts, liveaboards and hotels located at uninhabited islands will be open from July 15; while guest houses and hotels located at inhabited islands will reopen from August 1.

President Solih said: “The Maldives relies heavily on the tourism industry as it accounts for the largest foreign exchange earnings, making it the biggest economic contributor in the country. However, it has come to a standstill due to the stringent public health measures taken to curb COVID-19. The tourism industry has been gearing up to restart; and is set to resume in compliance with protective measures, taking into account the safety of tourists and staff working in the industry.”

The guidelines for reopening the tourism sector, ‘Public Health Interventions to Prevent Covid-19 Transmission in the Tourism Sector’, was also released by the Ministry of Tourism, giving comprehensive information for all sectors across the tourism industry on their standard operating procedures, as well as important information to tourists.

According to the guidelines, tourists are not required to pay an additional fee, produce a certificate or test result indicative of negative status for Covid-19 before entry into the Maldives. For tourists without symptoms, there is no requirement for quarantine either.

As per the latest guidelines, travellers who have a history of contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days; and persons who have a fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath within the past 14 days have been advised not to travel to the nation.

All passengers should submit a health declaration card upon arrival, completed on board the aircraft. As per border health and aviation procedure, if a passenger shows any symptoms of the viral infection such as fever, cough or shortness of breath on board the flight then the case needs to be put under the notice of the Health Protection Agency. However, the guideline will be periodically reviewed based on further developments.