Quick facts before travelling to the Maldives by Ruby Amir
The Maldives started welcoming visitors again on July 15, 2020, after a period of border restrictions. Dreamy villas elevated above blue-green waters or overlooking the ocean a few feet away, with the luxurious castaway feel, it is a dream stay for many travellers.
The Maldives has become one of the go-to destinations of the pandemic. Not surprisingly as the island nation is at an advantage with its topographical nature. The travel trends are changing with the ongoing pandemic but the Maldives looks to be welcomingly well-prepared.
Currently, the island nation is open to all travellers who have to produce a negative PCR test at immigration taken no more than 96 hours before departing. The report should precisely state the name and address of the laboratory taken along with the date of the sample taken and should be from an approved testing facility.
The PCR test result needs to be attached to the Traveler Health Declaration form, which should be submitted online within 24 hours ahead of arrival. Travellers are asked to download the national contact tracing app, TraceEkee, and use it throughout their stay.
These restrictions were temporarily dropped for fully vaccinated travellers earlier in the year, but have since been reinstated. Travellers are allowed to split stays between resorts/guesthouses. However, if you spend more than 48 hours in the Greater Malé area, you must take another PCR test before hopping off elsewhere.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated are permitted to stay in guest lodging in inhabited islands provided that 60% of the population, including 90% of over-65s and 95% of tourism employees, are fully vaccinated.
As of 26th September 2021, the Maldives has documented 84,290 COVID-19 cases with 229 deaths.
Travellers can expect a considerably ‘normal’ stay, minus the consistent hygienic protocols or masking. The isolation of most resorts of the Maldives makes it easy to stay put in one place, take in what the place offers in an intimate environment, cascaded with sandy shores and swaying palms.
Travellers can choose to craft their holiday in split stays at different islands, with a request to the Ministry of Tourism prior to 48 hours of travelling.
It is a personal decision to travel during a pandemic. However, the Maldives can give you a feel of the pre-pandemic travel times, where you can lounge around, bask in the sun, read a book on the villa veranda, and get intimate in the tranquil tropics.