Tourism Ministry publishes procedures to be followed by Tourist Facilities operating in the new normal

The Ministry of Tourism, on 23 June 2020, published the Guideline for Restarting Tourism in Maldives which specifies the minimum standards to be met by registered tourist facilities by the tentative opening dates scheduled for July 2020.

The guide, which imposes the standards to be maintained upon the arrival of a tourist to the Maldives, the duration of their stay, and up to departure from the Maldives, specifies protocols to be followed by immigration and airport staff and tourist facilities, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of tourists arriving in the Maldives. Some notable measures in the guideline include temperature screening carried out at the first point of entry, and PCR tests for persons who display symptoms of Covid-19 in addition to random PCR tests. If a tourist tests positive for Covid-19, the tourist facility can opt for either isolating the tourist In their booked accommodation or at a government managed isolation facility. In addition to these standards, stringent health and safety standards, such as the wearing masks and gloves by tourist facility representatives at the airport, and all tourist facility and airport representatives that carry out luggage and domestic transport duties is mandatory.

All registered tourist facilities are required to maintain an adequate number of PPE, appoint safety managers and have on site, medical offices who have undergone HPA certified training on Covid-19 management. Staff that arrive at the resorts prior by the tentative opening date of 15 July, will be subject to movement restrictions specified in the guideline. Staff that arrive from overseas will be required to be kept under quarantine for 14 days prior to reporting to work with the same rule applied to staff arriving from islands under monitoring. All common facilities of Resorts must adhere to social distancing guidelines, and use of those common areas shall be subject to HPA guidelines. The guide, also specifies emergency procedures to be followed in case any staff or tourists display symptoms of Covid-19.

There are no restrictions for tourists checking out, provided that they do not display any symptoms of Covid-19 or do not test positive on a PCR test. Tourist guesthouses and Tourist Vessels are also required to comply with the specific rules specified for those facilities under these guidelines.

The tentative opening date for tourist resorts is 15 July and the tentative date for tourist guesthouse and Tourist vessels is 1 August. The guideline will be subject to review every 14 days and the tentative date to ease restrictions is 1 September.