tourism

The Maldives reopen on July 15th to tourists. The main guidelines

the-maldives-reopen-on-july-15th-to-tourists.-the-main-guidelines

The Ministry of Tourism has announced yesterday that the Maldives will reopen to tourism this 15th July 2020 with new guidelines. In the following, I have summarized useful information to know if you can travel the Maldives and under which conditions.

Maldives Ministry of Tourism reopening statement.

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Ministry of Tourism of MAldives statement reopening tourism

In March 2020, due to Global pandemic COVID-19, the Maldives had suspended the issuance of tourist visa resulting in zero tourist arrivals for about 3 months.

Read also COVID-19 in Maldives Complete Timeline.

The Maldives were supposed to reopen their borders to tourists on July 01st under special and very strict restrictions.

The country is now easing out of lockdown and preparing to open borders to the new normal.

Can we travel to Maldives now?

As per today, no, not until July 15th.

The Maldives are not yet open to Tourism.

Some resorts have remained open despite the border closures in March but no tourists are still allowed to enter the country.

This July 15th 2020, Maldives will finally reopen their borders but in a new way with new restrictions and measures.


Travelling in “The new normal” way to the Maldives

The Maldives, like many countries around the world, are subject to measures decided by their own Health Protection Agency.

The country also follows WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations and is in constant contact with UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation).

Previous guidelines announced a long list of restrictions for travelers.

Among them were different points that made headlines in the travel community like :

  • An obligatory USD 100 fees per person for a COVID-19 test at entrance.
  • Guests would be confined in their rooms until their test results are reported, which would take from three to 48 hours.
  • A minimum of 14 night stay a personal Travel Insurance obligatory.
  • Each Traveler entering the Maldives should be in possession of a health document, not older than 7 days prior to the entry in Maldives, stating negative results on a PCR test or a negative Covid-19 antibody test.

Read also First guideline for a Safe Tourism in Maldives

Maldives reopening : The measures you need to know Before You go

Note : The new guideline will be periodically reviewed based on further developments.

IMPORTANT : Tourists are advised to directly check offers and operational status with the preferred tourist establishments on their websites and mobile applications.


MEASURES for travelers arriving in MAldives

This reopening requires strong precautionary measures for the tourism industry, from ports of entry, to transfers, and to places of accommodation.

From the main initial requirements to enter the Maldives, some measures remain.

Among them :

  • The booking should be made for in 1 Hotel/Resort/Island only (no more island hopping nor combination of several resorts/islands during 1 stay).
  • Strong safety precautions like masks and thermal check at arrival are obligatory.

Some measures have been lifted.

According to the new guidelines :

  • Tourists are not required to pay an additional fee, produce a certificate or test result indicative of negative status for COVID-19 prior to entry into Maldives.
  • For tourists without symptoms, there is no requirement for quarantine either.
  • The 14 days minimum stay is lifted.


Measures For tourism establishments.

Maldives Resorts, Hotels and Liveaboards reopening dates

Resorts, Liveaboards and hotels located at uninhabited islands will be open for tourists from July 15, 2020 and not July 01st as initially scheduled.

timeline resorts reopening maldives 15 july covid

Maldives Guest Houses reopening dates

Guest Houses and hotels located at inhabited islands will be open from August 1, 2020 as scheduled.


For tourism establishments many strict conditions are still valid to be able to welcome tourists again.

Here are some of them. The list is much longer.

  • Service staff shall be trained in the use of personal protective equipment, social distancing procedures and disinfection procedures.
  • Staff shall wear face masks in enclosed public spaces and during circumstances where social distancing is not possible.
  • Emergency procedures are put in place to deal with suspected cases of COVID-19 including isolation procedures.
  • A resident medical officer will be on site with a HPA certified training on COVID-19 management, isolation procedures and sampling.
  • […]

New travel restrictions to the Maldives are ( as per June 23rd 2020):

A new and official Guideline for a safe tourism is released ( see links at the end of this article ). Here are the main points.


Maldives General health and aviation procedure

General Health and Aviation procedures are not only for the Maldives.

They are global .

Read also Dreaming of taking off for the Maldives again. The measures onboard.

Airline Companies and Airports around the world must follow the new IATA rules and safety measures.

  • As per border health and aviation procedure, if a passenger has fever, cough or shortness of breath on board the flight it should be informed to the Health Protection Agency.
  • All passengers should submit a health declaration card upon arrival, completed onboard the aircraft.
  • 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 fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath within the past 14 days are advised not to travel to Maldives.


Before ARRIVAL in Maldives and Booking restrictions

  • A confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the Ministry of Tourism, prior to travelling is mandatory.
  • Tourists who are visiting Maldives shall book their entire stay in one registered establishment.
  • Stays at multiple resorts and hotels are not permitted during this period. However, exemptions will be made for transit arrangements.
  • […]


VISA PROCEDURES to enter Maldives

The Maldives New Arrival Visa and procedures.

  • A confirmed pre-booking in a registered tourist facility is a prerequisite for the visa.
  • Tourist visa extensions shall be made available to long stay tourists and tourists who may require visa extensions due to quarantine measures without any further fees.
  • […]


Maldives ENTRY AT AIRPORT, Temperature checks and COVID tests


Information on what is happening if a tourist tested Positive .

  • Tourists travelling to Maldives will be provided a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival.
  • A health declaration card will be required as part of the on-arrival procedure.
  • All arriving passengers should wear masks
  • Physical distancing should be ensured.
  • Hand sanitization at entry to the arrival terminal.
  • Temperature checks and screening measures will be carried out at the first point of entry for tourists and special attention will be paid to individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms including, but not limited to, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath.
  • Those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms on arrival must undergo a PCR test.
  • If one member of a group traveling together displays symptoms, all members of the group shall be tested.
  • All arriving passengers must undergo thermal screening at entry.
  • Tourists will not be subject to any quarantine measures upon arrival to the Maldives.
  • Tourists will not be required to submit any medical test results for entry to the Maldives.
  • However, travellers presenting with symptoms of Covid-19 upon arrival will be subject to a PCR test at the traveller’s cost.
  • The tourist will be sent to a designated facility for isolation.
  • Isolation will be done at a designated transit facility or at the tourists’ destination resort (depending on the resort policy).
  • If the result of the PCR test is positive, the tourist may continue isolation at the resort or will be transferred to a designated state-run isolation facility.
  • If the result of the PCR test is negative, the tourist will be released from isolation.
  • In the case of negative PCR test in a tourist who is isolated temporarily at a transit facility, he/she will be released from isolation and may travel to the destination resort.
  • Although released from isolation, a symptomatic tourist will have to follow restrictions on attending public places such as restaurants until the symptoms resolve.
  • Contact tracing should be done for the symptomatic patient to identify passengers who were close contacts during the flight and during the journey.
  • Contacts who are tourists can be quarantined in their destination resorts until the PCR test result of the patient is known.
  • Contacts will be released from quarantine if the patients’ PCR test is negative.
  • On arrival, if any tourist gives history of contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within 14 days prior to arrival (as per passenger health declaration card), the tourist must be examined by the doctor at the airport clinic.
  • If the person is asymptomatic, he/she will require to be quarantined.
  • If the person is symptomatic, a sample should be taken for PCR for COVID-19 and the patient should be sent to a designated facility for isolation.
  • Installing the contact tracing app “TraceEkee” is encouraged for all tourists.
  • Additionally, local health authorities may conduct random testing at no cost to travellers.[…]

NOTE : Vessels, guest houses and hotels on inhabited islands may not accept tourists who have tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival.

In the case of a positive PCR result, the tourist facility, where the tourist is booked to stay in the Maldives, shall be given the option of transferring the tourist to their booked accommodation to isolate in their designated room or to isolate in a government run facility. These options will also be subject to the individual’s medical condition.

  • At the airport, tourists will be isolated from the point of identification of symptoms or based on positive test results.
  • Tourists requiring PCR testing on arrival shall be accommodated in a transit facility until their PCR results are received.
  • […]


Luggages and Welcoming by Airport staff

  • Tourists or passengers must maintain a safe distance of at least 1 metre at luggage collection areas.
  • Airport authorities will ensure that luggage trolleys are disinfected after each use. Disinfected trolleys and used trolleys will be kept and marked separately for users.
  • Staff will handle luggage with gloves, ensuring minimal contact.
  • Receiving staff shall be equipped with masks and sanitizer.
  • […]


Transfers and HPA Standards

  • Transport vessels and aircraft shall comply with health & safety standards set forth by HPA.
  • Wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizer shall be made compulsory before boarding transfer vessel or aircraft.
  • A safe distance of at least 1 metre shall be maintained during communication.
  • Disinfection and decontamination procedures approved by HPA to be undertaken on vessels and aircraft after passenger disembarkation.
  • Tourists with positive PCR test results shall be transferred to their destinations via separate transfers conforming to protocols set forth by HPA.
  • […]


Check-In Procedures at resorts and Hotels.

  • Tourists transferred to the resort with a positive PCR result shall be escorted directly to their rooms upon arrival at the resort and isolated in the room as outlined by HPA guidelines.
  • Minimal staff shall be involved with receiving tourists at the resort.
  • A safe distance of at least 1 meter shall be maintained between tourists and staff at all times.
  • Tourists under isolation shall be instructed to stay in their rooms until advised by HPA.
  • […]

You can read the complete guidelines ( PDF ) 28 Pages at

tourism.gov.mv/16889/guideline-for-restarting-tourism-in-maldives/.

More resources and information on Maldives reopening :

  • Statement by the Ministry of Tourism: bit.ly/3dyoHxu
  • Maldives Travel Information: https://bit.ly/3dpEe2w
  • HPA link for Covid-19 latest updates: bit.ly/2VrMM2P
  • Visit Maldives Press Release : visitmaldives.s3.amazonaws.com/4EonpXYM/vl9qesq1.pdf
  • Guidelines video: bit.ly/2VbrOVu

Travel Safe and Happy !

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