The Maldivian government will mandate all tourists and short-term visitors to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival from 10th September 2020 onwards. The PCR test must be conducted maximum 72 hours prior to departure to Maldives. PCR tests for infants aged less than one year are exempted.
The development comes soon after Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom confirmed that the government will mandate negative test certificates to allow entry into the country.
Speaking on a local television programme, he stated that although Maldives reopened borders with a set of very lenient guidelines, the safety measures will be strengthened to ensure the safety of all, including the staff working in the hospitality industry.
“That will also guarantee safety and protection for tourists visiting Maldives, which will be important for increasing our numbers”, he had said.
“In essence, Maldives is the best country to vacation safely from among global destinations”, he added, referring to the archipelago’s unique geography and one-island-one-resort concept.
Only about 7,000 tourists visited the country during the month of August. However, Dr. Mausoom stated that the government is expecting an additional 100,000 tourist arrivals before year end. The Minister speculated that Maldives may see 500,000 tourist arrivals this year, if all goes well.
As with numerous countries around the world, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maldives closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals on 27th March, halting the issuance of on-arrival visas until borders reopened on 15th July.