Maldives to open borders in July if precautions are successful

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced plans to open the borders as early as July, if the existing precautions are deemed a success.

In a televised address, President Solih explained plans of opening the borders and resuming the tourism sector as part of reviving the hard-hit economic activities in the country. He said a guideline is currently being formulated to gradually loosen the restrictions.

President Solih detailed the measures of the government to revive the tourism industry and as such, tourism lease rents will be deferred for a certain period to ease the burden on resorts as the country works to restart the sector. The president further said the government will also defer rent of islands leased for agricultural purposes. He said a similar policy will also be applied on other rental properties of the government.

President Solih added efforts are underway to revive and restart the economy and repress the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 in the Maldives. Highlighting the current restrictive measures were necessary, the president emphasised the need to work towards a new normal.

As the Maldives plans to open borders and restart tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a guideline and opened the draft for public comments and has also invited all industry stakeholders to express their opinions. As per the guideline, all private jets and chartered flights arriving in the Maldives will be charged a landing fee of USD 50,000, in addition to a special visa fee of USD 100 along with another USD 100 for a PCR test to be done on arrival. The guideline also includes instructions for visitors during the various phases of their holiday, from the time they land in the Maldives until they depart the country.

As the country plans to open the borders, visitors will only be allowed in the Maldives for a period of 14-days.