Can I visit the Maldives? The latest advice as luxury resorts try to win back tourists

Emma Featherstone
·3-min read
maldives
maldives

Foreign holidays could be permitted from May 17 and the Maldives is currently welcoming tourists, albeit with testing restrictions in place.

It may top the travel wish-lists of some Britons when international trips return; so long as you pass the pre-departure Covid test and any screening or testing on arrival, you will not face quarantine as a tourist.

Resorts have continued to lure wealthy travellers and influencers as restrictions tightened across many countries this winter.

That said, if holidays are legally allowed by mid-May, travellers could continue to face restrictions under UK rules. This could even include hotel quarantine should the red list remain in place in its current form, alongside testing.

If you do plan to book a trip to the Maldives for later this year, here’s what we know so far.

Am I allowed to travel to the Maldives?

No, for now, given that overseas trips are prohibited here. But yes, from the Maldives' point of view. Britons can holiday at a resort without having to quarantine on arrival.

International tourists can enter the Maldives at Velana International Airport in Malé, as of July 15. Testing rules came into force on December 16, however. All visitors to the country must present evidence of a negative PCR test for Covid taken within 96 hours of departure.

They must also fill in a Traveller Health Declaration Form 24 hours before travelling to the country and an Immigration Arrival Card when they land. Temperature and screening checks are also in place on arrival. Quarantine facilities are set up to isolate any suspected cases of the virus.

Anyone who does show symptoms when they arrive will be required to take another test at their cost or at the cost of the place they are booked to stay in the Maldives.

All visitors are also asked to download the contract tracing app ‘Trace Ekee’ when or before they arrive.

maldives - Getty
maldives - Getty

Which resorts are open?

The Maldives has continued to welcome tourists in 2021. Most tourist resorts had reopened as of February 9, as well as hotels and guest houses.

What rules do I have to follow in the Maldives?

There are no travel restrictions between islands and resorts that do not have cases of the virus. However, travel to and from islands that have confirmed cases of Covid is restricted.

Tourists can travel between islands and resorts that do not have Covid-19 cases and are not subject to monitoring, but need prior approval for inter-island travel from splitstays@tourism.gov.mv.

Tourists must also undergo an exit screening before they depart from a resort. This may include a questionnaire regarding symptoms and a temperature check.

Are flights operating?

For when holidays resume, are number of airlines run services with connections in the Middle East. However, the United Arab Emirates (including Dubai) is on the red list. If it should remain so when international travel resumes, Britons should avoid hotel quarantine on their return by taking direct flights.

British Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines offer regular, non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Malé Velana International Airport, which serves as a gateway for international tourists. Transfers to your resort will be by boat, sea plane or a domestic flight.