By Veronica Inveen
Jun 4, 2020
When the Maldives announced in March that they would likely be closing their borders until the end of the year, the hearts of honeymooners and sybarites around the world broke. But hope was restored this week after the Ministry of Tourism issued a statement that the country would be welcoming foreign visitors again as soon as July 1.
The Indian Ocean destination heavily relies on tourism—28 percent of its GDP and more than 60 percent of its foreign reserves come from the industry. Only 30 of the 154 resorts in the archipelago have remained open since the shutdown, all of which are housing guests who had chosen to self isolate in paradise rather than return home.
According to the new proposal, incoming travelers will need bookings at tourist facilities possessing a ‘Safe Tourism License.’ The license will be issued to places that abide by government legislation and meet a list of safety requirements—like having adequate stock of personal protection equipment or a certified medic onsite.
On the travelers’ side, they’ll need to present a medical certificate confirming proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 14 days of arrival.
An earlier version of the proposal stated that guests would be charged landing fees and extra tourist visa charges. However, the newest statement released on May 30 stressed that part of the proposal has since been abolished and foreign arrivals will not be required to pay any new fees.
If this was the news you needed to start planning a trip, you might want to take advantage of the many post-pandemic hotel deals. In light of the rough few months the world has endured, The Standard’s “Buy One, Give One” program makes a compelling case for booking a trip to the Maldives, where they debuted their sherbet-mod resort last year. With the deal, book your stay at any Standard hotel by June 11, 2020, and you’ll get one additional night at the same hotel to give to someone you care about (or who has cared for you).
Or, you could always invite those people to your own private island. St. Regis Maldives, which spans across Vommuli Island, is offering their entire 77-villa resort—including butler services, dining (and drinking!), yachting and off-island excursions, and spa services— for a cool US$250,000 per night.
Stay up-to-date on all the latest Maldive travel news at visitmaldives.com.