The Maldives will open its borders on July 15th and three important changes are expected:
- The visa fee of US$100 has been removed
- The US$100 fee for a Covid-19 antigen test on arrival at the airport has been removed
- The 14-night minimum stay requirement has also been removed and tourists will be given a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival
At the end of May, the Minister of Tourism, Ali Waheed, had outlined a much more cautious plan welcoming tourists back in the Maldives. With the recent announcement, the country has decided to scrape off it original proposal and instead decided to open its borders with no testing, quarantine or visa requirement.
Tourist facilities will be issued with a “Safe Tourism License” to safeguard the safety for workers and holiday-makers. This entails having personal protection equipment and a doctor on call. International arrivals must show proof that a booking has been made with an approved “Safe Tourism” hotel.
The country has two hospitals on the island of Male, with a plan to increase the total number of available ventilators from 95 to 200, according to reports. Getting access to those ventilators could prove problematic, however, as the geography of The Maldives could present challenges with many of the country’s resorts set on private islands accessible only by seaplane.
Last year, an estimate of 1.7 million tourists visited the island nation. The Maldives’ economy relies substantially on tourism. Flights will be landing in its main airport in July though private jets and yachts are already able to enter.
The Maldives has recorded about 1,800 cases and five deaths as a result of Covid-19.