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In recent years, Maldives has become a famous travel destination to tick off your bucket list. This small nation is renowned for having some of the most incredible beaches and luxury resorts spread out over numerous islands and atolls offering that one-of-a-kind getaway. And, given that Islam is the predominant religion in the country, it's a great destination for Muslim travellers, with many resorts offering halal food and other services catering to our needs. While a getaway to Maldives sounds like a dream given the current circumstances, we're one step closer to that Maldives retreat: the country has now reopened to international tourists! Beginning 15 July 2020, international visitors from around the world can now enter Maldives without having to undergo quarantine upon arrival. Here's everything you need to know about Maldives' reopening.
Tourists don't have to undergo quarantine
Yes, that's right! One of the biggest highlights of Maldives' reopening is the fact that visitors won't have to stay under quarantine after landing in Male airport. However, for now, guests can only stay at one resort for the duration of their stay (rather than staying on multiple islands). Bookings must be made in advance with the resort, which in turn must be registered with the government.
Many of Maldives' resorts are located on their own islands (there's 1,190 islets and atolls across the Maldives!), and as the border reopens, many of these resorts are the ones that are currently allowed to accept new guests first. So essentially you'll be doing your 'quarantine' at your own island! ?
No health certificate is required upon arrival
International travellers to Maldives won't have to show a health certificate or proof that they are negative for COVID-19. However, health and temperature screenings will be carried out at the airport, and travellers will have to fill and submit a health declaration card online ahead of your trip. For travellers that show symptoms of COVID-19, they will be tested (using a polymerase chain reaction or PCR test) before being sent to a designated facility for quarantine, with the travellers required to bear the cost of the test. There may also be randomised testing carried out by health officials at the airport (which travellers will not have to pay for). For travellers departing Maldives, testing is also available for those who would require such documentation for entering their next destination at 3 hospitals in the country, with plans to increase testing facilities across the country.
The following video from Maldives' Ministry of Tourism explains the process for tourists (you can also keep an eye out on further updates via their Facebook page!)
While Maldives doesn't require proof of health to enter, do note that when we start travelling again, travellers may be still be required to show a health certificate by airlines or undergo quarantine upon returning home per the government requirements of their home country in the future!
Which resorts are open?
40 resorts located on uninhabited islands (meaning those on which only resorts operate) are now open, while more are expected to open from 1 August 2020 onwards, including those on inhabited islands. The ministry has also shared a full list of the resorts' reopening dates, which you can find here.
Resorts are following new processes to safeguard guests
Resorts are following government guidelines for new operating procedures, such as wearing masks for staff as well as social distancing. On top of the guidelines, resorts may impose additional measures - for example, Amilla Resorts and Residences is reopening in three phases, with only select accommodations and services available for guests at the moment, while other resorts may also choose opt test guests upon arrival - CNN reported that the Soneva resorts in Maldives will be conducting testing for guests at their private lounge at the airport before transferring them to the resort to await the results.
Are there flights heading to Maldives now?
There are currently already flights operating from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai via Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates. So far, local carriers like Singapore Airlines, AirAsia or SilkAir have yet to officially announce if or when they'll be restarting routes to Maldives, given Singapore and Malaysia's on-going restrictions for international travel.
Travelling to beautiful exotic places like Maldives may still seem like a dream while we currently stay home in our respective countries, but with its borders reopening, it brings us one step closer to that once-in-a-lifetime getaway! At HHWT, we're great believers in continuing to dream about future travel adventures, so it's never too early to start planning ahead! For some inspiration, check out these 8 Romantic Resorts In Maldives To Book Now And Stay later!