Maldives lifts ban on UK travellers
A ban on entry into the Maldives for anyone who has left or transited the UK in the previous 14 days has been lifted, although travellers returning to the UK will still be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.
Confirmation on the lifting of the ban came today (Wednesday) from the Foreign Office as resorts reopened for tourists.
Guest houses open this month for local residents on Covid-19 free islands, and will be opened for tourists from August 1.
However, a public health emergency remains in place in the Indian Ocean nation until August 7.
A night curfew between 11pm and 5am is in place in the greater Male area but no movement restrictions outside these hours.
The FCO said in updated travel advice: “Travel to the greater Male region from islands without confirmed cases of Covid-19 is now allowed. When travelling from Male to other islands, there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival at your destination.
“There are no travel restrictions between islands without Covid-19 cases. Travel to and from islands with confirmed Covid-19 cases is restricted.
“Movement between resorts and islands will be permitted without quarantine requirements from August 1 when guest houses for tourists are due to open.”
However, all excursions, such as day trips to picnic islands, fishing and dolphin watching, from all islands, resorts, safaris and guesthouses are banned across the country until further notice, according to the FCO.
The Maldives has also launched a new campaign today to attract tourists back to the islands.
‘Rediscover Maldives – the sunny side of life’, will aim to encourage tourists from across the world to return to the Maldives after incoming tourism was paused due to the Covid-19 crisis.
This morning, the Maldives welcomed just over 100 passengers on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Malé, the country’s first visitors since its reopening.
The virus is said to have affected nine of the almost 200 inhabited islands, but the island resorts are 100% Covid free.
Speaking on a press conference today, minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid, said: “Because of the geographic nature of our islands, we are able to contain the Covid-19 spread to Male, greater Male and a handful of other islands. The rest of the country is safe.”