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Maldives opens to international flights

The Maldives is hoping for a July launch.

The Maldives will open to commercial flights on July 1, according to draft government policy. And super yachts and private jets are already able to enter the country.

An official statement from the Ministry of Tourism confirmed that the country is planning to reopen its borders for international visitors in July.

“We cannot keep our borders closed for long,” said minister for tourism, Ali Waheed, in a statement at the end of May. “We are engaging with the relevant industry stakeholders in compiling ‘Guidelines for Restarting Maldives Tourism‘ from July. We urge (other) Commonwealth countries to open up borders without compromising safety. It’s time to build travellers confidence.”

In order to prepare, the government will be issuing a ‘Safe Tourism Licence‘ to accredit hotels and resorts. New legislation includes staff being trained in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), social distancing and disinfection procedures.  An adequate stock of medically certified PPE should be maintained on site and there should also be a nurse or doctor on call.

Incoming international tourists will need to present the results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test which has been taken at least 14 days prior to the trip. There could be a further PCR test on arrival. Initially this was set to incur a fee if US$100 for on-arrival visas. However, in the face of strong criticism, the government has since said it won’t levy any additional taxes or fees on tourist arrivals.

The guidelines also recommend that tourists must have valid travel insurance for the duration of their stay and they must have a confirmed booking with a property that has been accredited with the Safe Tourism Licence. 

The Maldives has so far reported more than 1,500 coronavirus cases and five deaths. Last year, it welcomed 1.7 million visitors, with tourism accounting for a third of government revenue.


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