- Evans Balikudollar
The Maldives reopened to tourists
Travelers itching for a change of scenery amid months of lock down and stay-at-home orders brought on by the coronavirus pandemic now have a new option. The Maldives reopened to international visitors this week, after being closed to visitors since March 27.
While much of the world has shut its borders or enacted strict measures on incoming travelers, the Maldives will not require new arrivals to quarantine or undergo testing, other than a simple temperature check at the airport. There is one other rule: Visitors must book their entire stay at the same resort whilst visiting the South Asian country.
Its government originally announced it would require visitors to pay a new $100 visa fee and $100 for a Covid-19 test at the airport, plus stay a minimum of 14 nights. It has since dropped those requirements.
Airlines, including Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, are resuming services to the island nation.
Despite the nation being open for business, hotels are only gradually reopening, with Conrad Maldives Rangali Island planning to reopen at the end of September, and St. Regis and all other Marriott International hotels in the Maldives not planning to reopen until October.
On-site hotel testing eases anxieties — for some
One resort, however, reopened immediately with new measures designed to stay clear of the virus. Guests of Soneva Fushi will be given a mask upon arrival and be tested for Covid-19. Guests are then required to stay in their room or villa until their test results come back, which could take between six and 24 hours.
If they receive negative test results, guests can roam freely, but must still conduct daily temperature checks. On the fourth day of their trip, an additional test will be carried out.
One factor that could lure tourists to the Maldives is its desolate nature, especially compared to say, a beach club in Mykonos. Also, many health experts have said being outdoors poses a lower risk for contracting Covid-19 than being indoors.
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