After President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced that the borders of the Maldives were set to reopen on July 15, the Tourism Ministry has unveiled the final guideline to recommence tourism in the country.
The President had announced that travel restrictions will not be made towards arrivals from any country when the Maldives reopens. However, arrangements will be made for any requirements by a foreign government regarding arrivals from that country.
The final guideline begins with a mandatory training stipulated for resort staffs regarding COVID-19 when the Maldives begins welcoming back tourists.
Bookings in liveaboards, local guesthouses and hotels will also be permitted from July 15 onwards.
Under the guidelines, staffers are to undergo a training session to familiarize themselves with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) when tourism is recommenced. Training for social distancing must also be provided to staffers.
A sufficient supply of PPEs must also be available at resorts at all times as a precautionary measure. The PPEs also include gloves, boots, face masks, and face shields as the government looks to ensure the safety of tourists and staffers.
Training for disinfection must also be provided to staffers as well as emergency response training. The guideline also makes it mandatory for staffers to wear masks and maintain clean hand hygiene such as sanitizing when onboard vessels that transport tourists.
Isolation arrangements in case of a positive case must also be made at resorts for both staff and tourists.
Each resort must have an HPA certified medical officer and the management must also make arrangements for isolation procedures and sampling. In addition to this, a safety plan must be made along with the approval of the Ministry. Resorts are also required to appoint a safety manager for the purpose of maintaining safety at resorts.
Those staffers in direct contact with tourists will have to be provided separate accommodation to reduce the risk of infection for both tourists and staff.
Foreign staffs that arrive after July 15 must undergo a quarantine period of 14 days before they can return to work, according to the guideline. Islands not under monitoring mechanisms will have no restrictions for resort staff to return to work from. While staff returning from islands with monitoring mechanisms must undergo a quarantine period of 15 days.
The Maldives will issue a 30-day on arrival visa for all tourists arriving in the country starting from July 15 onwards. Tourists are required to have a booking made at a registered facility.
Tourists will not be required to complete or undergo any quarantine procedures. They will also not be required to provide a COVID-19 test result according to the final guideline.
However, the procedure for tourists exhibiting symptoms of the pandemic will be required to undergo a PCR test for the safety of others. Tourists are to be charged for the mentioned COVID-19 test. Authorities will also conduct random sampling at points of entry as a precaution for which tourists will not be required to make any payments.