Maldives reopens to international tourists next month

The Maldives will reopen holiday resorts from July 15 including to international tourists.

Foreign visitors will not need to undergo virus tests to enter the Indian Ocean archipelago.

However, authorities will conduct temperature checks and screening measures.

Visitors exhibiting Covid-19-like symptoms must undergo a PCR test, which will be paid for by the tourist facility where the tourist’s booking was made.

The Maldives Health Protection Agency will carry out random sampling at the airports.

If a visitor tests positive, they will either be isolated in their designated room or in a government-run facility, depending on the individual’s health condition.

Tourists must adhere to certain precautionary measures during their stay in the island nation.

They will be encouraged to wear masks, maintain social distancing of at least one metre with airport staff, frequently hand wash or sanitise, according to the tourism ministry.

President Ibrahim Solih confirmed that international tourists would be welcomed.

He revealed that the Maldives government will grant permits to operate resorts, before allowing guesthouses to reopen in August.

The Maldives estimates a shortfall of approximately $450 million in foreign currency due to the Covid-19 clampdown since March.

Travel restrictions, implemented as part of Maldives’ response to contain the spread of coronavirus, have left the country vulnerable to severe economic impacts, president Solih warned.

The World Bank projected in April that the Maldives would be the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic.

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