Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing more than a year after it began. Due to numerous travel restrictions, it is sometimes not easy for holidaymakers to choose a travel destination. Despite currently still being on the Red List in England (so requiring hotel quarantine on return), a destination that has been open to international tourism again since July 2020 is the Maldives. There are good reasons to believe that the Maldives will be put on the Amber or Green list in the near future.
Natural social distancing in the Maldives
The Maldives are a picturesque archipelago located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, these tiny coral islands are grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, held together by ring-shaped coral reefs.
Voted World’s Leading Destination 2020 by the World Travel Awards, the unique geography (with over 1,190 islands scattered across the ocean) makes social distancing easy.
Add to this the one-island-one-resort concept that the Maldives are famous for. All resorts are on a private island where only the staff and guests are. This guarantees a high level of privacy, perfect for a relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) awarded the Maldives the “Safe Travels Stamp” in recognition of efforts to implement adapted health and safety measures that are consistent with WTTC global protocols for safe travel. In addition, Velana International Airport received the Airport Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation for consistent measures in accordance with the ACI standards in “the new normal”.
On arrival in the Maldives, a free 30-day visa for all nationalities will be issued, provided that you have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months and a confirmed booking in an official tourist accommodation. However, due to the current safety precautions, it is also necessary to submit an online health declaration 24 hours prior to arrival and to take a COVID-19 test within 96 hours prior to arrival, even for vaccinated travelers.
Administration of the COVID-19 vaccination program began on February 1, 2021. The government of the Maldives will provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to all citizens and residents of the country in the coming months. Visit Maldives has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to launch the “I’m Vaccinated” campaign to spread a positive message about vaccinating tourism workers and promote the initiatives that are being taken to ensure that the Maldives is one of the safest travel destinations in the world.
The ultimate goal is to make the Maldives the travel destination with the world’s first fully vaccinated tourism sector. By July 1, 2021, over 96% of resort employees had received the first dose of the vaccine, while 70% of resort employees were fully vaccinated.