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Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed has stated the Maldives has one of the safest border reopening policies in the region, as highlighted by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Speaking at the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations, Minister Ali Waheed assured the committee that border reopening policies have been formulated in compliance to the universal guidelines of UNWTO and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Noting the Maldives is looking to establish a balance between traveller convenience and safety, the tourism minister revealed symptomatic tourists will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, while random sampling will also be conducted as part of the safety guidelines. He said a preparatory drill will be conducted at Velana International Airport (VIA) on July 8 to train staff for the procedure to be followed upon the return of tourists to the Maldives.
The tourism minister noted the Maldives had recently chaired the virtual meeting of the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CS) and Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP), in which UNWTO described the border reopening policies of the Maldives as one of the safest in the region. He affirmed the Maldives will be a safe destination for tourists when travel resumes following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maldives has decided to reopen borders for international operations on July 15, nearly 4 months after borders were closed due to COVID-19. Ministry of Tourism, along with Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), has been conducting several marketing and promotional activities targeted for tourists from different international markets.