Maldives Opens Borders to Tourists, Records One Positive Case

  • The tourist country opened its borders on July 15 and has now recorded the first tourist who has arrived with COVID-19 after almost 3 months.
  • There are currently more than 3, 300 cases of COVID-19 in the Maldives. Its population is just about 300,000- both expatriates and local citizens.
Maldives is open to tourists once again.

Now that the Maldives has opened its borders to visitors, it is once again threatened by a non-community transmitted COVID-19 case. On Wednesday, the country’s Health Protection Agency confirmed the first COVID-19 positive tourist.

HPA said the tourist arrived in the Maldives on July 26, 2020. The case is the first COVID-19 positive visitor reported since the Maldives opened its borders last July 15. The country has closed its borders from any flights and tourist arrivals for three months. Most of the cases recorded before July 26 are cases within the community.

Health Emergency Operations Center Spokesperson Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said the individual did not show any sign of the virus and was randomly tested when they found out. According to her, appropriate safety measures were followed regarding the case.

She said no tourists that have arrived in the country since July 15 have ever exhibited symptoms of the virus, and that includes this infected one.

Dr. Nazla reported that there had been 3,057 arrivals to the Maldives since the country welcomed visitors. The numbers include both foreign visitors and local citizens coming back home. She said 2,130 individuals had traveled out of the country since July 15.

The Maldives has recorded about 3,369 cases as of Wednesday. There are currently 67 cases, 15 deaths, and 2, 547 recorded recoveries.

The Maldives Open Its Borders

Because tourism is the country’s bread and butter, the government of Maldives has decided to open its borders to visitors after more than three months of lockdown.

The country’s tourism ministry has allowed liveaboards and hotels located at uninhabited islands to open last July 15. More than ten luxury resorts also accepted guests. All travelers around the world are welcome, and there are no restrictions even to countries such as the United States and Russia who are experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 cases worldwide.

There is no mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the Maldives, but tourists are transported directly to their respective resorts. Contrary to the government proposal that tourists should present a COVID-19 health certification card, the government has decided not to impose any form of certification upon arrival to the airport. No fees will also be collected, but random COVID-19 testing is available at the airport to anyone who wants to be tested.

There are no visa restrictions, no visa fees, and no health fees to worry about.

Guest Houses and hotels located at inhabited islands are still closed but are expected to open on August 1.

Qatar Airlines was the first aircraft to fly to the Maldives carrying of 104 tourists and 24 Maldivians. During the reopening of the airport, the arriving individuals were welcomed by a special ceremony that was held at the airport.
Government entities such as the senior officials from Maldives Airports Company Ltd, some cabinet members, and Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation welcomed the guests.

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, who released his statement to the local media during the opening, said the reopening of the border had rekindled hope. A month before the lockdown, the Maldives has ramped up its tourism marketing efforts in social media and across all platforms to reach a global market. The marketing campaign is called “The Sun Will Shine Again”.Eleven more airlines arrived that day, and more flights have been coming and going for almost two weeks now. As of July, only three airlines were operational, but there will be about six more airlines that will be allowed to operate in August.

More tourism updates here: India Is Preferred By Tourists Over the Maldives and Sri Lanka
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Paradise Island’s COVID-19 statistics are here:

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