SAFE TOURISM GUIDELINES FOR THE GREATER MALE AREA
With guesthouses and hotels in the Greater Male’ area open for general tourism operations since the 14 December, 2020, we have provided below answers to some of the key questions you may have in regard to a stay in the capital area.
We hope this will assist you in planning your travel to the Maldives and also will aid you in understanding what to expect when you stay within the Greater Male area.
Updated 18 October 2021
WHERE IS GREATER MALE?
- Greater Male comprises Male, Hulhumale, Hulhule ( airport island) and Villimale.
WHO CAN STAY IN TOURIST GUESTHOUSES & HOTELS IN GREATER MALE?
- Tourists for transit stay and long stay.
- Maldivians, for travel related quarantine or for those who are unable to arrange quarantine at a house.
- Expatriate work visa holders, for travel related quarantine and regular stay.
- Expatriates holding diplomatic visa, business visa or special visa.
- Maldivians including those who travel from islands for obtaining services in Greater Male area
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS THAT THE GUESTHOUSE OR HOTEL MUST MEET?
- A COVID-19 Safe plan must be formulated by the tourist guest house or hotel. The Ministry of Tourism will assess the plan of each property before issuing a permit allowing the property to operate.
- All the facilities and services provided from the guesthouse must be within the HPA guidelines and all the staff must be aware of the health and safety plan.
- Tourist guest houses and hotels must explain to guests at the time of making bookings, the public health measures that should be observed, the requirements for PCR testing of tourists under the conditions mentioned in this guideline and the requirements for testing, isolation and quarantine in the event that a tourist may become a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or a close contact of COVID-19 case.
- All staff of tourist guest houses and hotels in Greater Male’ area are required to do PCR testing for COVID-19 once every month.
Should you wish to understand the full requirements, details can be found here on our earlier post:
WHICH GUESTHOUSES & HOTELS HAVE BEEN APPROVED?
Many properties were approved for transit in the Greater Male area but in order for properties to re-open to long stay guests from 14 December, 2020, further documentation has to be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism in order to receive an approval permit to operate.
All approved properties within Greater Male and nationwide throughout the Maldives can be found here and is updated as newly approved properties are added.
WHAT GUIDELINES DO I NEED TO FOLLOW?
- Tourists must wear masks when in public spaces within the guest house or hotel.
- The wearing of masks is mandatory in public places for locals and tourists throughout the Greater Male area.
- Tourists are not allowed to enter residential houses.
- Tourists should adhere to physical distancing measures and observe other recommended public health measures, such as regular hand washing, to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
- Tourists are recommended to use the contact tracing app “TraceEkee” to facilitate contact tracing.
WHAT SERVICES & AMENITIES CAN I USE?
All tourists including those in transit may use local amenities providing the standard HPA guidelines are followed which includes the number of persons allowed in store/cafe, the wearing of face masks and social distancing:
- Tourists are allowed to use public cafes and restaurants.
- Tourists are allowed to use shopping facilities.
- Tourists may use any taxi or other public transport vehicles in the island providing the vehicle has a partition between the driver compartment and passenger compartment.
WILL EXCURSIONS AND WATER ACTIVITIES BE AVAILABLE?
- Snorkeling, diving, water sports and excursions to sandbanks will be available with additional safety measures as laid out by the HPA Guidelines.
- Day excursions/visits to other local islands and resorts are not currently allowed.
- Visits to safari boats for short visits such as dinners are allowed providing the boat has received day visit approval from the Ministry of Tourism.
- All providers should ensure COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene are followed by tourists as well as crew.
CAN I SPLIT MY STAY BETWEEN GREATER MALE AND ANOTHER ISLAND OR BOAT?
Tourists can make a split stay between a guest house or hotel in Greater Male’ area and a tourist resort, vessel or another tourist guest house island under the following conditions:
- All split stays must be according to the split stay procedure set out by Ministry of Tourism.
- Tourists who arrive and first stay at a tourist guest house or hotel in Greater Male’ area as part of a split stay, must do a PCR test before transferring to resort, guesthouse local island or 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.
- Tourists may only travel to a resort, vessel or tourist guest house island if the result of this PCR test is negative.
- Tourists who initially stay at a tourist resort,vessel or a tourist guest house island are not required to do a PCR test for COVID-19 prior when travelling to a guest house or hotel in Greater Male’ area
DO I NEED TO TAKE A PCR TEST BEFORE ONWARD TRAVEL?
This will be a different requirement based on your stay and earlier travel.
Tourists who stay in Greater Male area during the entire duration of stay in Maldives
- A PCR test must be completed prior to departure from Maldives if the duration of your stay in Greater Male’ area is more than 48 hours.
- The sample for testing must be obtained not more than 72 hours prior to departure from Maldives.
- The result of this PCR test must be negative to allow travel.
- The guest house or hotel must ensure that the tourist has obtained the PCR results prior to check out.
- The results must be uploaded to the IMUGA departure Health Declaration form.
Tourists who stay in the Greater Male for the purpose of arrival transit
- Arrival tourists who require to transit in Greater Male’ area prior to onward travel to resorts, vessel or tourist guest house island will not require PCR testing if their duration of transit in Greater Male’ area is less than 48 hours.
Tourists who stay in the Greater Male for the purpose of departure transit
- All tourists who have stayed on a guesthouse local island at any point during their stay in the Maldives must complete a mandatory PCR test before departure from the tourist guest house island and prior to arrival in Greater Male.
- Departure tourists who require pre-departure PCR testing as an immigration requirement of their destination country or airline, must obtain a negative PCR result prior to their departure from the resort or vessel or tourist guest house island and before arrival in Greater Male.
- The negative PCR result must be produced at the transit guesthouse or hotel at the time of check-in.
WHAT ARE THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF TRAVEL TO THE MALDIVES?
The following article details all the current regulations you need to be aware of when travelling to the Maldives. We update as changes are made, so it would be good to bookmark.
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 and to your own home Foreign Travel Advice, as part of your travel planning.
At Secret Paradise we have reviewed all our operational practices to ensure our guest’s comfort and safety.
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.
The team at Secret Paradise have you covered. #LETUSGUIDEYOU