The Maldives Considers Tourism Reopening Proposals
Here is all You Need to Know if You are Planning on Travelling to The Maldives during the Coronavirus pandemic
12 May, 2020
Proposals on safely reopening the Maldives to visitors have been transferred to the cabinet for review and deliberations, the island nation’s tourism minister said Monday.
Ali Waheed told reporters that his ministry had made the plans based on recommendations given by a team of local and international experts, and after studying the examples of other countries that are reopening their borders.
“These proposals include details on which airports to reopen and which airlines to permit at first, and how to handle the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for travellers that produce a medical certificate which confirms negative Covid-19 test findings,” he said.
“After the deliberations, we will share these plans with the industry stakeholders.”
The proposals will likely be reviewed by a new task force formed by Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to prepare for reopening the island nation’s economy after the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Task Force on Resilience Building and Economic Recovery is overseen by the president, and consists of working groups on finance, economic recovery and the social sector.
Meanwhile, tourism minister Waheed reiterated assessments earlier shared by medical experts that the outbreak in the Maldives would reach its peak by the end of the month.
“Our current focus is controlling that surge. Then only we can take the necessary steps to prepare for reopening our borders,” he said, during the virtual press conference Monday afternoon.
Waheed also remained bullish on the government’s ability to contain the coronavirus outbreak and reopen the country in the third quarter of the year.
The government has formulated five scenarios with possible timelines for reopening borders and the tourism sector.
The best case scenario sees the country reopen borders by May, but the most likely scenario projects a July date for reopening the borders and restarting tourism in October. In the worst case, borders may only open by January 2021.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit the Maldivian economy hard, as travel restrictions and other preventive measures affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry, which contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.
Before the pandemic, the government had been bullish about tourism prospects, targeting two million, high-spending holidaymakers this year after last year’s record 1.7 million.
However, tourist arrivals saw a year-over-year decline of 22.8 per cent in the first 10 days of March. Officials say the number of tourist arrivals to the Maldives could drop by half in 2020.
All international airlines have suspended scheduled operations to the Maldives, as the island nation enforced a blanket suspension of on-arrival visa in late March in a bid to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Even before the visa suspension, the Maldives had closed its borders to arrivals from some of the worst-hit countries, including mainland China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, Spain, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Visitors from three regions of Germany (Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg), two regions of France (Île-de-France and Grand Est) and two regions of South Korea were also banned from entering the country.
All direct flights to and from China, Italy, South Korea and Iran were also cancelled.
Cruise ships and foreign yachts were also banned from docking at any of the country’s ports.
With arrival numbers falling and the visa suspension in effect, several resorts across the Maldives had been closed.
Tourism has been the bedrock of the Maldives’ economic success. The $5 billion-dollar economy grew by 6.7 per cent in 2018 with tourism generating 60 per cent of foreign income.
However, the government is at present projecting a possible 13 per cent economic contraction this year — an estimated $778 million hit.
On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.
Eighteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except five Maldivians who had returned from abroad — were later identified.
A six-case cluster of locals, detected in capital Male on April 15, confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus. Several more clusters have since been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed case in the Maldives to 862.
Three deaths have been reported and 30 have made full recoveries.
The Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.
The public health emergency declaration has allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including stay-at-home orders in capital Male and its suburbs, a ban on inter-island transport and public gatherings across the country, and a nationwide closing of government offices, schools, colleges and universities.
Non-essential services and public places in the capital such as gyms, cinemas and parks have also been shut.
Restaurants and cafes in the capital have been asked to stop dine-in service and switch to takeaway and delivery.
A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses, city hotels and spa facilities located on inhabited islands is also in effect.
Recent Posts 10.03.2023
- Booking.com Launches Early 2023 Deals: 15% OFF
- Hard Rock Hotel Maldives launches 'Rock & Soul Month' – the Ultimate Wellness and Lifestyle experience
- Best of both worlds in Dubai with Anantara
- Experience Maldives by Art at Grand Park Kodhipparu
- A New Wellness Experience at Anantara Kihavah
- Crown & Champa Resorts: What's new? March 2023
- Raffles Maldives Meradhoo welcomes wellness practitioner Ranjith Saj
- Top hotel deals and offers to book for Eid Al-Fitr in the Maldives 2023
- From MasterChef delights to Easter celebration and other COCO news this month
- ELE|NA at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI wins World Luxury Spa Awards 2022
- The Nautilus Maldives launches the slumber ritual on World Sleep Day
- Where Kids Stay and Eat Free in the Maldives
- Deep Diving essentials
- COLOURS OF OBLU announces OBLU NATURE Helengeli renovation and rebranding
- LUX Tennis partners with Waldorf Astoria Maldives
- Avani+ Fares Maldives debuts on 1st April 2023 with Pre-Opening Special Offer
- Start Planning: Spring Break 2023 with COMO Hotels
- Constance Festival Culinaire 2023
- Savor the flavors of traditional Japanese cuisine at JW Marriott Maldives
- Latest News from Kandima, March 2023
- Top 5 Free-Spirited Experiences recommended by The Nautilus house masters
- Health events calendar at JOALI BEING for 2023
- Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort joins World’s Top 100 Elite Properties
- Huvafen Fushi Maldives resort to get revamped
- Explore the culinary wonders of Diamonds Athuruga Maldives
- These Countries Fly Direct to Malé (MLE)
- Maldives Most Booked Hotels
- 10 Maldives resorts to Add to Your 2023 Travel Bucket list
- Where to Spot an Indian Celebs in The Maldives
Maldives on a Budget
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays available, which range from budget guesthouses to backpacker-friendly hotels – there are all accomodation available for under USD 50 a night! The Maldives is a fascinating country to travel to independently, not least because it’s only been possible to do so for the past decade.
Undoubtedly, Maldives is'nt getting more cheaper every year, but it’s equally true that the gorgeous islands offer something for everyone – backpackers and budget-conscious travellers included! Here’s our dedicated section that guides you through everything you need to know about enjoying Maldives on the cheap. We’ve also included a section with useful tips on enjoying Maldives on a shoestring, and another which shows you all the free, and almost free, things you can enjoy for your cheap holiday in Maldives. Here for you the ultimate guide to enjoying Maldives on a budget. Read More
Beach or Water Villa?
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly revamped to cater to the needs of families visitingRead More
Best Maldives Resort Offers & Packages
Find out more about the most unparalleled Maldives hotel deals and special rates, when Book Direct your next beach holidayRead More
Maldives Hotel Reviews
Some of the best hotels and resorts in the Maldives are already included in this list, and the good part of them offers the best prices. We will constantly add new hotelsRead More
10 Exclusive Resorts in Maldives
The Maldives is paradise destination that should be on the bucket list of every discerning travelers. There's a special breed of hotels there that cater to the most tasteful of luxury travelers Read More
The Maldives’ Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings for 2022
hese are the hotel openings in the Maldives is most excited for in 2022 for planning your next luxurious getaway Read More
10 Most Affordable Water Villas
While it may never be cheap to visit thу Maldives, fortunately there are still some chic and relatively affordable overwater villas you can stay. Read more
Maldives Luxury Guide
Here's the best of Maldives for luxury travellers. We've compiled the finest recommendations of places to stay, ranging from the most celebrated five-star resorts to luxurious private islands Read More
Maldives Romantic Guide
The ultimate ‘flop and drop' and honeymoon destination, the Maldives is the playground for the most amazing and finest utilization of each second of this extremely valuable and hopeful time with each other in tota Read More
Maldives Budget Guide
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays Read More
Maldives Family Guide
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly Read More
Maldives Diving Guide
The life of these paradise islands below the Indian Ocean's level is the main draw attracting thousands of divers Read More