on 22 Apr 2021
As of April 20, visitors to the island nation do not need to show a negative PCR test if fully vaccinated
The Maldives is further relaxing its tourist entry restrictions. As of April 20, international visitors to the Indian Ocean island nation do not need to present a negative PCR Covid test result, as long as they have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before departure.
The Maldives’ economy is almost entirely dependant on tourism, and the country made an early decision to stay as open as possible during the pandemic. Since July 2020, the country has been open to all visitors with proof of a negative Covid test.
Despite a handful of outbreaks, the Indian Ocean island nation has been one of the few travel success stories of the pandemic, with many resorts operating at over 70% occupancy.
The Maldives emerged as a top destination for visiting superyachts during winter 2020/21, after opening to foreign-flagged vessels and reduced visiting fees in April 2020.
Mohamed Hameed, director of Asia Pacific Superyachts Maldives, comments that the reduction in fees has “helped to make the Maldives not only a superyacht favourite, but … provides a viable stopover for all yachts crossing the Indian Ocean as well as a convenient stop-over for yachts bound for either the Red Sea or en route via the Cape of Good Hope.”
Dharavandhoo Island in Baa Atoll
News that vaccinated visitors no longer need to produce a negative PCR test result is welcomed by Hameed. “Maldives entrance formalities and restrictions are very easy to comply with and there has been a lot of demand and inquiries, especially when compared to other competitive markets/countries,” he says.
In the Maldives, sailors are categorised as crew and not as tourists, and can be issued with a 90-day visa on arrival, in place of the 30-day one issued to tourists. Crew may go ashore at resorts and some islands after showing negative PCR test results.
With rules constantly in flux, it’s important to contact your agent for the latest before departing for the Maldives, adds Hameed.