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UP TO DATE TRAVEL ADVICE FOR TRAVELLING TO THE MALDIVES 2021

Summer Island Maldives

Since the reopening of the Maldives in July 2020, safety has been of paramount importance to the Maldives government, local authorities and all those involved in the tourism industry.

As a destination the Maldives does have a geographic advantage as an archipelago. Individual islands provide a natural safe environment. These individual resorts or local community islands can be quickly shut down if a suspected case emerges and there are a wide range of control measures in place when entering and leaving the Maldives.

The vaccination program is also well advanced with over 90% of those working in the tourism industry having received both does of vaccine and over 78% of the population also fully vaccinated ensuring tourists and local communities remain safe with risks minimized.

Updated 28 November 2021

IS THE MALDIVES OPEN TO TOURISTS?

  • The Maldives is open to everyone.

WHO CAN VISIT THE MALDIVES?

  • All nationalities are welcome.
  • If you have a history of contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days and/or persons who have fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath within the past 14 days should not travel to Maldives.

In reference to the new variant discovered from South Africa (Omicron), the  following measures are effective from 27th November 2021 until further notice:

Tourist arrivals from South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eswatini will not be allowed entry. This restriction is also applied to those who have visited these countries within 14 days prior to arrival to the Maldives and also those who have over 12 hours of transit time in any of these countries.

IS THERE A MINIMUM STAY REQUIREMENT IN THE MALDIVES?

  • No there is no minimum length of stay.

HOW DO I GET A MALDIVES VISA?

  • A free 30-day tourist visa will be granted to all tourists upon arrival in Maldives providing all entry requirements are met.

WHAT ARE THE MALDIVES ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?

  • You must have a confirmed pre-booking in an approved tourist facility for the duration of their stay and provide emergency contact information.
  • You must have a passport or travel document valid for a minimum 30 days from date of entry to the Maldives.  (This validity period may be a different requirement for airlines or transit countries).
  • You must have a certificate showing a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 96 hours prior to the time of your first departure flight from your country of origin.
  • If you are staying at a guesthouse on a locally inhabited island you must have completed both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine listed among the emergency vaccines noted by World Health Organisation (WHO) not less than 14 days before check-in into the guesthouse. Children who are too young to be vaccinated in your country of origin can travel with vaccinated adults and stay at guesthouses.
  • Local Islands that have met the vaccination requirements stipulated by the HPA can accept non-vaccinated tourists, details of which islands can be found here. This document will also be used for Immigration checks.
  • The IMUGA online health declaration form must be completed within the 48 hour period prior to the time of your departure flight from your country of origin. The form requires your PCR certificate, your vaccination details and a photograph of yourself to be uploaded.  Once fully complete a QR code will be generated and this needs to be presented at the time of your international flight check in and at Maldives Immigration.
  • There is no requirement to resubmit should the QR code expire as your details will already be logged in the Immigration system.
  • Travelers  who have a history of contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days and/or who have fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath within the past 14 days should not travel to Maldives.
  • Whilst not a requirement of entry, travelers are also encouraged to download the HPA ‘Trace Ekee’ app to assist with contact tracing. A Maldives SIM card is required in order for the app to operate within the Maldives.

IS A PRE ARRIVAL COVID-19 TESTING CERTIFICATION REQUIRED IN THE MALDIVES?

  • Yes you must hold a negative result for a nucleic acid test (PCR test) COVID-19 prior to entry into the Maldives even if you have received two doses of a WHO approved vaccine against COVID-19.
  • The sample for the PCR test must be taken not more than 96 hours prior to your first flight departure time.
  • Children below one year old are exempt from the requirement of a COVID-19 test.
  • If you makes a transit during the journey, the initial PCR test will be valid if the transit does not exceed 24 hours.
  • If you makes a transit exceeding 24 hours you must take a repeat PCR test within 96 hours prior to departure from the country of transit.
  • The document containing the test result should state:
    Name of the passenger (name as in passport)
    Name and address of the testing laboratory
    Type of test stated as PCR test
    Date and time of sampling
    Result
  • The PCR test result should be submitted through the online Health Declaration Form IMUGA portal within 48 hours prior to departure from your country of origin. In addition, the laboratory result should be presented in paper or electronic format during airline check-in and maybe required upon arrival in the Maldives at immigration Male International Airport as well as your Health Declaration QR code.

IF I WANT TO STAY LONGER THAN 30 DAYS IN THE MALDIVES CAN I EXTEND MY TOURIST VISA?

  • Yes, tourist visa extensions are available to all long stay tourists.
  • Should you require a visa extension due to quarantine measures your accommodation provider will make the necessary arrangements.
  • We recommend that you refer to the Maldives Immigration website, your travel agent or the property where you have booked your stay to confirm the documentation required for submission.

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS TO WHERE I CAN STAY IN THE MALDIVES?

  • Your stay must be in a tourist establishment registered and approved by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • It is a mandatory requirement that you have a confirmed booking prior to travelling to the Maldives
  • Note Airbnb listings are not registered properties and caution should be taken if using these accommodation providers as if not listed as an approved property you may not be able to board your international flight.
  • Details of all tourist facilities that have received approval from the government can be found here.

CAN I STAY ON MORE THAN ONE MALDIVES ISLAND?

  • Yes, you are able to split your stay across all types of approved tourist accommodation facilities, providing the necessary guidelines are followed.
  • Note, that not all resorts will accept guests who have previously stayed on a local island or vessel prior to their arrival to the resort. Alternatively the property may request a PCR test to be taken prior to arrival.
  • Travel is allowed between vessels, resort islands and tourist guest houses islands providing the vessel, resort, guesthouse or local island is not placed under monitoring by HPA.
  • Details of tourist facilities and islands under monitoring can be found here.
  • For all split stays, a split stay form has to be submitted to the Tourism Ministry by the tourist facility on behalf of the tourist. This is a one time declaration and can be submitted at anytime prior to tourist arrival/transfer.
  • Tourists must undergo an exit health screening prior to travel from the vessel/island.
  • Tourists who arrive and first stay at a tourist guest house or hotel in Greater Male’ must do a PCR test before transferring to resort, guesthouse local island or safari vessel, if the duration of their stay in Greater Male’ area is longer than 48 hours. This is a mandatory requirement despite a pre arrival PCR test being completed prior to entry into the country.
  • For full details in relation to split stays head over to our blog.

CAN I SPLIT MY STAY ACROSS ISLANDS IN THE MALDIVES?

 

WILL THERE BE COVID-19 TESTING COMPLETED UPON ARRIVAL IN THE MALDIVES?

  • As a pro-active prevention measure there is active surveillance for COVID-19 at all points of entry to the Maldives and at tourist facilities by the HPA, this includes random sampling and testing of passengers effective from April 30th 2021.
  • All samples taken will be free of charge and will be tested on a priority basis.
  • Travelers presenting symptoms of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath upon arrival, will be subjected to a PCR test at the traveler’s cost.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I ARRIVE IN THE MALDIVES AND TEST POSITIVE?

  • If you or a member of the group you are traveling with displays symptoms, all members of the group shall be tested of which you shall bear the cost of the PCR test conducted due to showing symptoms.
  • In the case of a positive PCR result upon arrival at the airport, the resort where you are booked to stay, shall be given the option of transferring you to their booked accommodation to isolate in their designated quarantine room or to isolate in a government run quarantine facility.
  • Vessels, guest houses and hotels on inhabited islands may not accept tourists who have tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival and you will therefore be isolated in a government quarantine isolation facility.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DISPLAY COVID-19 SYMPTOMS & TEST POSITIVE DURING MY STAY IN THE MALDIVES?

  • Any COVID-19 symptoms displayed by yourself or a member of your group should be immediately reported to the medical staff of the resort, guesthouse reception or senior crew member of a vessel.
  • If you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms you shall be isolated with immediate effect until further guidance from HPA and Ministry of Tourism is received.
  • Isolation may be undertaken separately from other members of your travel group.
  • All tourist facilities will have isolation rooms maintained and serviced as per standards set out by HPA.
  • Once isolated a mandatory PCR test for COVID-19 will be undertaken as per HPA guidelines. If your PCR test result is positive you shall remain under mandatory quarantine isolation at the property or designated quarantine isolation facility for a period of 14 days.
  • Your condition will be reported regularly to HPA and the Ministry of Tourism. HPA will decide on transfer for further observation and treatment should the need arise.
  • You will be released from quarantine following a negative PCR result.
  • Note there will be expenses to be paid for any period in isolation, please check with your insurance company that you will be covered appropriately.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I COME INTO CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE DURING MY STAY IN THE MALDIVES?

  • If you are identified through contact tracing as having been in contact with an individual who has tested positive, you will also have to undergo testing and potential 14 day quarantine.
  • Contact tracing will include anyone who has participated in group excursions and activities or are travelling as part of a group where an individual has been identified as positive.
  • Once isolated, a mandatory PCR test for COVID-19 will be undertaken as per HPA guidelines. If your PCR test result is positive you shall remain under mandatory quarantine isolation at the property or designated quarantine isolation facility for a period of 14 days.
  • You will only be released from quarantine following a negative PCR result.
  • Note there will be expenses to be paid for any period in isolation, please check with your insurance company that you will be covered appropriately.

WHAT SAFETY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE AT VELANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT MALE?

  • Hygiene measures have been intensified across the airport. All seats and desks, lounge areas, ticketing and check-in counters, along with flooring and airport tarmac area are subject to regular disinfecting drills.
  • You must wear your face mask at all times within the airport and you will undergo thermal screening at the arrival terminal.
  • Hand sanitization is available at entry to the arrival or departure terminal of both Male International Airport  and the Domestic airport and also before seaplane check in desks.
  • You should maintain physical distancing at luggage belts and should wash your  hands or use hand sanitizer after handling trolleys and baggage.
  • All Immigration personal at Male International Airport have received full vaccination.

WHAT IS THE TRANSFER PROCEDURE IN THE MALDIVES?

  • Airport transfers will be through services provided by your pre-booked accommodation provider.
  • Tourists are currently unable to use the public ferry network.
  • The wearing of masks and the use of hand sanitizer is mandatory when boarding transfer vessels or aircraft.

DO MALDIVES PROPERTIES HAVE TO FOLLOW SPECIFIC GUIDELINES?

  • All tourist accommodation facilities are required to comply with all relevant Maldives legislation and a specific set of standards when reopening.
  • Many resort properties have their own enhanced measures and these will be available to view on their individual website or social media pages.
  • All tourist facilities must have access to medical services, well-managed stock of PPE and a COVID-19 safety manager.
  • All tourist establishments are required to submit a Health & Safety plan to the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Secret Paradise will be auditing all their partner local island properties. Full details here.

WHAT IS THE DEPARTURE PROCEDURE FROM THE MALDIVES?

  • No restrictions will apply on checkout for guests staying on a resort or vessel providing no symptoms are displayed or no positive PCR result has been recorded should symptoms have been displayed during duration of stay.
  • You will need to complete the IMUGA online health declaration form within the 48 hour period prior to your departure from the Maldives.
  • Prior to departure from Maldives, PCR testing is mandatory if you have stayed on a guest house island. The PCR test must be done within 72 hours prior to your departure from Maldives. Your guest house will facilitate the PCR testing but you must bear all costs associated with testing.
  • Mandatory PCR tests are also applicable if your length of stay in Greater Male exceeds 48 hours.

WHAT IF MY HOME COUNTRY REQUIRES A TEST PRIOR TO ENTRY?

  • Testing services are available at all tourist facilities for anyone who requires a PCR test to return to their country of origin or another destination.
  • You should advise the guesthouse/hotel/resort/vessel of test requirement at time of check in. In most cases the sample will be taken at the property and sent to the nearest testing facility.
  • Results are issued by email within 48 hours.
  • Tourists who require a negative PCR test result for their outbound flight will not be taken to the Male International Airport for departure without a negative test result at hand.
  • We would advise you check with your agent or direct with the resort for full information and costs specific to the property.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT COVID-19 STATUS IN THE MALDIVES?

  • The Maldives presently records a total of 91,350 confirmed cases, out of which 1,794 are active cases of COVID-19, with 12 cases hospitalized. The country records 89,295 recoveries (98%) and 248 fatalities.
  • 395,586 first dose vaccinations have been completed and 363,150 second doses administered and booster jabs have started for those aged 50 and over.

WILL DIVING, SNORKELING & EXCURSIONS BE AVAILABLE?

  • Snorkeling, diving, watersports and excursions will be available with additional safety measures as laid out by the HPA Guidelines.
  • Prior booking must be done to use the service of dive centres. For full details regarding diving please refer to the dive centre website or PADI/SSI/DAN guidelines.
  • Symptomatic tourists will not be allowed to use these services.
  • During excursions the number of persons on the trip will be minimized to allow for adequate physical distancing.
  • Physical distancing should be maintained while on board including seating arrangements inside boats.
  • Face masks must be worn in enclosed spaces.
  • Avoid taking any unnecessary belongings on board the boat that are not required.
  • Avoid sharing equipment and food items during trips.
  • Tourists are recommended to have their own personal mask and snorkel and to rent fins only.
  • Tourists and crew should use soap and water / hand sanitizer before boarding boats and sanitizing facilities should be available on board for tourists to use throughout the excursion.
  • Day tours to resort islands will not be available until further notice.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE I TRAVEL TO THE MALDIVES?

  • You are required to wear a facemasks throughout the airport, within lounge areas and during transfers.
  • If staying or visiting Male, Hulhumale or Villimale you will be required to wear face masks on the islands.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least one meter with staff and other passengers and frequently wash or sanitize their hands.
  • We recommend you take out travel insurance.
  • Dates, guidelines and requirements remain subject to review and change subject to the pandemic situation in Maldives and other factors.

We recommend that you also refer to the websites of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives for the most up to date information. We also advise to check your own home Foreign Office Travel Advice or seek consular assistance as part of your travel planning.

At Secret Paradise we have reviewed all our operational practices to ensure our guest’s comfort and safety. But without losing the memorable aspects of our experiences and service .

Want to find out how you can experience the Maldives in a safe and secure way? Take a visit to our website and select from tours, cruises and accommodation. Contact the Secret Paradise team to start your Maldives trip plan today!

For travel advice and information specific to local island guesthouses travel plans you can find details here.

The team at Secret Paradise have you covered.

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