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Visiting Maldives again: Remember these Covid guidelines before planning a trip

One of the most favoured international destinations for tourists — especially in the pandemic, wherein travelling to foreign countries has slowed and almost stopped — Maldives reopened for visitors from India on July 15.

It had previously suspended the entry of South Asian travellers, effective May 13, when the second wave was at its peak. Keep in mind, however, that tourists may be accommodated in guesthouses at local islands only after July 30, 2021.

Now, after almost two months, the restrictions have been eased a bit, and tourists will be issued a visa on-arrival.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • In order to be able to visit the island country, you must be able to show a confirmation of your hotel reservation at the airport.
  • All tourists — including those who have received both the doses of their Covid vaccine — must produce a negative RT-PCR test report, with samples taken at least 48 hours and at most 72 hours, prior to departure.
  • In addition, you will also need to submit an online health declaration form on the Maldives immigration portal 24 hours before your arrival.
  • Right now, Indian tourists are not allowed to visit Greater Male, because of its dense local population.
  • They can, however, split their stay between hotels. But, it is mandatory that the facilities meet government guidelines and have approvals from the Ministry of Tourism in Maldives. Additionally, tourists are required to inform the facilities about their plans to spend a few days at another resort.
  • While visitors are not required to quarantine on arrival, if they — or a person in their group — show Covid symptoms, they will have to take an RT-PCR test and quarantine at a resort or a transit facility until the reports arrive. The cost of the accommodation may have to be borne by them.
  • Those travelling to Maldives from India can be tourists, Maldives nationals, expatriates and their dependents holding a work permit. And those who travel from Maldives back to India must be Indian nationals, and those with OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cardholders holding Maldivian passports. This category also includes foreigners (including diplomats) who hold a valid visa issued by an Indian Mission under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

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  • Keep in mind that after you enter India from your stay in the Maldives, you will have to present another negative RT-PCR test certificate. Make sure you inform the property where you stay, so the management can arrange for it before your check-out.
  • Carry a mask and wear it in public at all times. Also download the Maldives contact tracing app, TraceEkee, before your travel.

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