Christian Stan, at 15 Jun. 20, in Hot right now, News

The tourism board of Maldives has announced a phased reopening which expects incoming flights to its main airport to recommence from July, although those with private jets or yachts can already visit the island nation.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism said it will open its borders in July 2020 and that guests would not be charged any additional fees, after an earlier proposal suggested there would be landing fees and extra tourist charges.

The government will issue a ‘Safe Tourism License’ to tourist facilities to ensure safety of both workers and holidaymakers which includes having personal protection equipment as well as having a certified doctor on call.

The new proposal says that any incoming international travellers will need to have a confirmed booking with a hotel that has a Safe Tourism License. Travellers will also be required to provide a medical certificate confirming they tested negative for COVID-19 at least 14 days before they arrive.

In 2019, The Maldives welcomed 1.7 million visitors and it was expected to jump to 2 million this year – but the impact the virus has had on the tourism sector has been ‘more devastating than the 2004 tsunami and the 2008 global financial crisis’, Ali Waheed, the minister for tourism said. Waheed continued: “For the first time in 47 years of tourism in the Maldives, we have experienced zero tourist arrival since this March. We cannot keep our borders closed for long.”

The small nation has had just 1,841 confirmed cases and seven deaths.

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