UK Repatriates British Tourists in the Maldives
Here is all You Need to Know if You are Planning on Travelling to The Maldives during the Coronavirus pandemic
31 March, 2020
The United Kingdom has repatriated almost all of its nationals holidaying in Maldives, as the popular holiday destination tightens travel restrictions to curb the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The British embassy in Maldives said the operation was carried out in partnership with British Airways.
Any remaining British tourists in Maldives have been urged to contact the embassy.
For British tourists still in Maldives, the travel options are limited. With most airlines cancelling their flights and grounding aircraft, British Airways and Qatar Airways are the only airlines with connections between the Maldives and the UK.
The European Union had earlier conducted a similar operation to repatriate thousands of European tourists in the Maldives.
The Maldives on Friday enforced a blanket suspension of on-arrival visa 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.
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.
Sixteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except two Maldivians who had returned from the United Kingdom — were later identified.
However, 11 out of the 16 have made full recoveries. Three out of the five active cases are being treated at designated quarantine facilities, whilst the other two had been repatriated to their home country of Italy.
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 a ban on inter-island travel of tourists, including for excursions and between resort islands.
A nationwide shut down of all guesthouses and city hotels has also been ordered. Spa facilities located on inhabited islands have also been closed.
The Covid-19 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 this month. With arrival numbers falling, 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 5.6 per cent economic contraction this year — an estimated $446 million hit.
The government has launched an emergency MVR 2.5 billion ($161.84 million) facility and a package of financial measures to shore up the local economy against the coronavirus pandemic.
The MVR 2.5 billion stimulus plan includes MVR 1.55 billion ($100 million) in emergency loans for businesses to meet short-term working capital needs.
The emergency facility is complemented by a package of financial measures, including a six-month moratorium on principal and interest repayments for personal and business loans sanctioned by commercial banks.
Meanwhile, Bank of Maldives (BML) has announced a $2 million short-term financing facility for the tourism industry.
The facility by the country’s largest bank allows operational resorts and guesthouses finance up to $2 million to manage their working capital requirements, with a repayment period of three years.
Recent Posts 06.03.2021
- COVID-19 TRAVEL FAQ
- Air Travel post coronavirus (updated)
- Maldives Guesthouses Reopen after COVID-19 closure
- Experience fun family vacations in the Maldives with latest hotel deals and special offers!
- Enjoy Fantastic Vacation in Maldives 2021 with Crown & Champa Resorts special offers
- Anantara Kihavah unveils collection of Luxury Private Pool Residences
- The Ritz-Carlton Maldives has announced its partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau
- OZEN LIFE MAADHOO hosts Indian Celebrity wedding
- LUX* Maldives Luxury Resorts announces new appointments
- Amilla Maldives celebrates Easter in collaboration with Ministry of Crabs
- 5 Romantic Ways to enjoy Mirihi Island
- 10 Luxury Hotels in Maldives for Solo Travelers
- Discover an Unique places to Stay in the Maldives
- Maldives named world’s most Instagrammed tourist location
- Vakkaru Maldives welcomes innovative Wellness specialist Domingos Folgado
- Experience the Maldives Best Vacations on board Luxury private yacht
- Most Romantic Luxury Vacation Deals in Maldives You Don't Want to Miss
- Enjoy your Vacation in Paradise with this 10 Free Transfer offers
- 10 Best Hotels in Maldives for Under $200 per Night
- Where to Spot Celebrities 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 visiting this tropical island. Special kidsRead More
10 Romantic Dining Experiences
The Maldives is a breathtaking destination with it's paper-white sands, azure lagoons, and seclude island vibes. Dining and romance go hand in hand in the Maldives.The restaurants and destinationRead More
6 Underwater Restaurants
Dining under the sea is a growing trend in the Maldives that enables diners to enjoy a great food and incredible underwater views all at once. The 6 breathtaking underwater restaurants in Maldives must toRead 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 hotels, so regularly check for the best dealsRead More
10 Best Liveaboards
Liveaboards in Maldives is the best way to discover underwater world with many must-have tropical SCUBA experiences. Deserted, white sand islandsRead 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 travelersRead 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