The Maldives is gearing up to reopen its borders to international visitors from July 15, 2020.
The tourism board of Maldives has issued detailed guidelines for the resumption of travel-related services including visa procedures, booking accommodation, transits, tourist vessel operations and recreational activities.
Tourists will be offered a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival. A confirmed pre-booking in a registered tourist facility is a pre-requisite for the visa. Tourist visa extensions will be available to long-stay tourists and for those who may require visa extensions due to quarantine measures without any further fees.
Travellers must provide emergency contact information during the visa-issuance process.
Entry into the Maldives
Airport authorities will carry out temperature checks and thermal measures at the first point of entry. There is no mandatory quarantine on arrival for visitors. Submission of medical test results is not required. Although, if a person shows Covid-19 symptoms on arrival, they will have to undergo a PCR test. The government may conduct random testing at no extra cost.
A health declaration card is required as a part of the on-arrival procedure.
Confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the tourism ministry is required prior to arrival. Resorts, liveaboard vessels and hotels located on uninhabited islands are open for bookings starting from July 15, whereas guest houses and hotels on inhabited islands shall open for bookings from August 1.
In phase 1, tourists are allowed to book their entire stay in one property only. Stay at multiple resorts and hotels are not allowed during this period.
Resorts and hotels need to comply with the safety protocols issued by the government. These include submitting a health and safety plan to the Ministry of Tourism for approval prior to reopening, dedicated isolation area and availability of a resident medical officer among others.
In the case of a positive PCR result, the tourist facility shall be given the option of transferring the tourist to their booked accommodation for isolation in a designated room or to isolate them in a government-run facility.
Tourist facilities shall bear responsibility for ensuring that the costs related to the transfer and accommodation of individuals who require treatment at a government-managed facility are met.
Ministry of Tourism may allow guest houses and hotels on inhabited islands to accommodate tourists for an overnight stay under special arrangements (until tourist facilities in inhabited islands are officially allowed to resume operations).
Tourists shall be transferred to the guest houses or hotels in vehicles adhering to safety guidelines by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Tourists are expected to follow rules on movement restrictions applicable to the island at the time.
Additional safety measures for diving and water sports shall be examined by detailed regulations approved by HPA. Tourists shall be restricted from partaking in activities such as diving or excursions if they are symptomatic even if they have tested negative for Covid-19. They will only be allowed to indulge in recreational activities after symptoms have cleared fully.
All visitors to the Maldives are encouraged to install the contact tracing app ‘Trace Ekee’ upon or before arrival into the island nation.
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