Maldives Soon Requires Negative Covid-19 Test Upon Arrival

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The Maldives opened its borders for incoming tourists on July 15, 2020, with only requiring a negative Covid-19 test when leaving the country and not at the time of entry.

Passengers arriving at Male will soon need to produce a negative Covid-19 result. Many airlines, such as Emirates and Qatar airways, serving the island nation already require this from all or most passengers.

You can access the Maldives tourism website here.

Note that it is unclear when this requirement begins and how long in advance of the arrival, the test must have been administered.

Here’s an excerpt from the Edition:

Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom declared on Saturday that Maldives is expecting an additional 100,000 tourist arrivals before year end, but will mandate a negative COVID-19 test result for entering the country.

Speaking on the ‘Raajje Miadhu’ programme on local media PSM, he stated that although the borders were opened with a set of very lenient guidelines, the safety measures will be strengthened very soon.

At present, tourists are permitted to enter the country without observing quarantine, provided that they remain at the establishment where initial bookings were made, precluding any movement between islands or liveaboards throughout the duration of their stay.

They are only tested for the virus before departure from Maldives.

Mandating a negative COVID-19 test for entry is a step taken to ensure the safety of resort staff, Mausoom said.

Conclusion

The Maldivian economy is highly dependent on the luxury resorts that have been mostly either empty or closed for months.

The country opened its border for incoming tourism at the first opportunity, but rising Covid-19 infection rates at its main markets have likely lead to this decision.

The Maldives, in a sense, is an ideal place for Covid-19 tourism because as long as you stay out of Male, there is hardly ever a person you come across at the high-end resorts outside of breakfast and dinner.

You have to question how many can and will travel to the Maldives, however, if they need to quarantine for two weeks when returning home? Difficult to see the tourism sector bouncing back until the Covid-19 pandemic is over – likely in the second half of 2021.

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