For island nations around the world, tourism is their main source of income and they have been suffering a heavy loss ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them is Maldives, which has announced that it will be re-opening its borders for international tourists from July 15 onwards. Also Read - Dubai Eases Air Travel Restrictions, Will Allow Residents to Journey to Any Foreign Country
The announcement was, as per media reports, made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solihon on June 23 during his address to the nation. He had said that resorts and hotels that are located on uninhabited islands will open from July 15, while guest houses and hotels that are located on the inhabited parts of the island will re-open from August 1. Also Read - Here Are 6 Countries That Will Pay You to Visit Them Once COVID-19 Pandemic is Over
According to the guidelines, foreign tourists will not be required to undergo testing for coronavirus or carry a certificate as proof of their health. There will be no quarantine time for people who do not show symptoms, but should a person show symptoms of the virus or have high fever, the person will be tested for the virus at the airport. Also Read - Back to Hot Air Balloons! Good News For Travel Enthusiasts as Turkey Introduces 'Safe Tourism' Amid COVID-19
The guidelines do, however, state that any traveller who has come into contact with a person suspected or confirmed of having the virus within the past 14 days, should not venture onto the island. It also includes people who have been having fever or respiratory symptoms in the past 14 days.
Where flights are concerned, so far only charter planes and special flights were allowed to land and take off from the main airport in Male, and international flights are yet to resume.
Maldives has always attracted a huge number of tourists every year, and has been a honeymoon destination for many. As per the government, last year the island nation saw a record 1.7 million foreign tourists, which is expected to be cut in half this year.