Pirates, we can't think of anything better than being in the Maldives right now.
The borders closed to international tourism in March and have caused many problems for a nation that relies heavily on tourism, capable of generating about a third of the archipelago's GDP: for the Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, the impact of the emergency COVID-19 was far worse for the Maldivian finances than the 2004 tsunami or the 2008 financial crisis.
Now the Maldives are preparing for the reopening of international tourism, scheduled for July 1st. This was announced by the Ministry of Tourism itself, which recently authorised resort employees to join them to prepare for reopening.
The Ministry is developing a package of security measures, in order to assign a Safe Tourism Resort License to the resorts which will ensure that all the security measures being discussed (area dedicated to quarantine, social distancing measures, use of personal protective equipment, sanitation procedures, presence of a resident doctor, etc.) are carried out. As far as hotels and guesthouses are concerned, the itinerary for them involves opening from 1st August.
There were plans to put in a mandatory entry fee of $100, but plans have since changed on this. Other requests that are under consideration include you providing proof that you have tested negatively for COVID-19 within the last 14 days. You may then be required to take another test once you arrive at the airport.
It is also still unclear though, with the resumption of international flights in July, if the reopening will be widespread or if some countries are initially excluded. Initially the opening will certainly concern Asia and the Middle East. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are already preparing new connections, but these should then gradually extend to Europe as well.
Statement on Restarting Maldives Tourism. pic.twitter.com/Kff0RV3wOW - Ministry of Tourism (@MoTmv) May 30, 2020
In these lockdown months some resorts have remained open because some guests (less than 500 in total) had no way to return to their country of origin due to the blocking of flights and were forced to a golden quarantine.