Traveling to the Maldives during Covid-19: What to Know Before You Go

Editor’s note: (Coronavirus cases are flowing around the world. Health officials warn that until you are fully vaccinated, staying home is the best way to stop the spread. Here’s what you should know if you’re still planning to travel, last updated on February 16.)

(CNN) If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives, here’s what you need to know and what to expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Maldives reopened its borders to all travelers from all countries on 15 July 2020. The only exception is the densely populated capital Male, which is off-limits to tourists because it has been the source of most of the country’s coronavirus cases.

what to provide

It’s where the couple ends all their other trips — a luxury hotel on a private island with rooms cantilevered over the water, in case the walk to the beach is too strenuous.

who can go

Currently, the Maldives is open to tourists from all nationalities as long as they have proof of a negative Covid test taken no more than four days before arrival.previous ban

In early 2021, the destination launched a loyalty program that rewards frequent travelers with points based on the frequency and duration of their trips. Those who accumulate significant points are promoted to various elite status tiers that offer advantages including hotel discounts.

What are the restrictions?

All visitors must present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of departure, clearly showing the name and address of the laboratory, and the date the sample was collected, regardless of their vaccination status.

Results need to be attached to the Traveler Health Declaration form, which must be submitted online within 24 hours of arrival. Tourists are asked to download the national contact tracing app TraceEkee and use it while traveling.

Those restrictions were temporarily lifted earlier this year for fully vaccinated travelers, but have since been reintroduced.

All non-tourists from the UK, including those in transit, must be quarantined or seven days 14 days for vaccinated persons, or unvaccinated travelers.

However, these requirements do not apply to tourists.

Tourists can split their stay between hotels. However, if you are in Greater Male for more than 48 hours, you must take another PCR test before traveling elsewhere.

If 60% of the population (including 90% of the over-65 population and 95% of tourism workers) is fully vaccinated, those who are not fully vaccinated are allowed to stay in local island hotels.

How is the Covid situation?

As of February 16, the Maldives had reported more than 161,000 coronavirus cases and 289 deaths.

While most numbers remain relatively low, Covid-19 cases jumped to a record high in January, with a record 18,665 confirmed cases in one week, thanks to the Omicron variant.

Numbers have since declined, with 7,698 cases reported in the week to Feb. 16.

As of Feb. 16, more than 875,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered, and less than 79% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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What can tourists expect?

The Maldives bills itself as a destination that offers “normal” holidays, thanks to the isolation of most hotels and the fact that the vast majority of tourists stay in resorts rather than venture out.

This means that while locals are restricted, those traveling to and from the airport are not. Splitting accommodation between different hotels is allowed if the hotel complies with government requirements. Split stay applications must be made to the Ministry of Tourism at least 48 hours before travel.

Also hope your resort has some rules — especially temperature checks upon arrival and wearing masks indoors. As most of the items in the store have to be shipped to the Maldives, some items can get expensive – you should keep items like face masks and hand sanitizer with you to avoid spending across the island chain.

Useful links:

Tourism Office Covid-19 Update

The latest figures from the Ministry of Health

our latest report

Learn about scuba diving instructors who believe diving is key to protecting the Maldives’ corals, and how one of the destination’s centuries-old traditions is protecting tuna for the future.

If you’re planning your trip, check out our list of the best dining experiences. And discover the best new Maldives resorts to visit in 2022.

CNN’s Julia Buckley, Tamara Hardingham-Gill and Lilit Marcus contributed to this report

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