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Maldives to reopen borders to South Asian Tourists in July

Lamya Abdulla
29 June 2021, MVT 18:07
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addresses the media at a press conference today -- Photo: President's Office
Lamya Abdulla
29 June 2021, MVT 18:07

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced today the travel restrictions placed on South Asian tourists will be lifted in July.

In a press conference held in the President's Office, he announced that Maldives will restart issuing tourist VISAs to South Asian travellers from July 15 onwards. Further details regarding this issue will be announced soon.

Additionally, work VISA holders can re-enter Maldives from July 1 onwards. However, they will be required to quarantine in Maldives after crossing the border.

Entry of travelers from South Asian countries was halted in May after seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases in the region. Maldives also saw a rapid surge in cases in late April, which prompted the government to announce a lockdown in the Greater Male' Area on May 26, in addition to various inter-island travel restrictions.

Another announcement the President made today was to lift the lockdown currently in affect in the Male' Area from July 1 onwards. The curfew hours, currently from 6:00 pm to 4:00 am, will be reduced to 8:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Individuals will be allowed to leave their homes without a permit after July 1 during non-curfew hours.

Furthermore, all businesses can start service again during non-curfew hours as well from Thursday onwards. President said dine-in services will also be restarted from that day during non-curfew hours.

"Our aim is to reopen businesses and restart the economy. However, we will still place the necessary precautions from COVID-19," the President said.

Additionally, from Thursday onwards, all individuals that had recovered from COVID-19 can travel within islands for a 60 day period without requiring to quarantine.

He also said that mass prayers at mosques will restart from July 1.

Press Conference at President's Office today -- Photo: President's Office

In order to improve the healthcare facilities of Maldives, the President said Emergency Medical Services and Maldives Health Services will be established soon.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem and Economic Development Minister Fayyaz Ismail also joined this press conference.