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Ready to fly to the Maldives? These are the new rules

cn traveler 2020-08-15 16:31:40
Photo: Mohamed Ajufaan / Unsplash

The Maldives began welcoming back guests to its sandy atolls and gorgeous resorts in mid-July. And now India has concluded an agreement on a travel bubble with the archipelago nation with flights expected to start as soon as this coming Tuesday, 18 August. But for those of us who have been to the Indian Ocean island country before, you should expect a slightly changed version of paradise, what the Maldivian authorities are calling the “new normal”.

Visas and hotels: the new rules for travellers to Maldives

  • While tourists from all countries still get a visa on arrival in the Maldives, now you must produce a confirmed booking for your accommodation at immigration. 
  • You must spend your entire holiday at that one resort you are booked in to. You can no longer go island-hopping, or stay at multiple resorts on different atolls and islands. 
  • You will also be expected to fill out an online health declaration form before you arrive in the Maldives and have a copy handy for when you go through immigration. You can find the form here. 
  • At immigration, tourists will also be expected to provide emergency contact information.  
  • If you happen to need a tourist visa extension (valid for 30 days), because you are in quarantine, an extension will be granted at no additional cost.  
  • Travellers are expected to have the TraceEkee contact tracing app downloaded on their devices when they get to the Maldives (free on App Store and Google Play).
  • And it goes without saying, all travellers are expected to keep a 1m distance from airport personnel and always wear masks when they are around other people. 

Maldives: quarantine rules and testing on arrival

  • While the Maldives does not mandate testing for everyone, expect non-invasive temperature checks at the port of entry. 
  • Travellers might also be selected at random to undergo PCR testing for COVID-19. This is voluntary and testing will be done at no cost to the traveller. 
  • Travellers who don’t show any symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival do not have to undergo any quarantine in the Maldives.
  • However, any arriving passenger with visible symptoms of the virus will have to take a PCR test at the airport. If such a traveller is a member of a travelling group then all members of that group will be tested for the virus. 
  • If you test positive, the hotel or resort you are booked with will be given the option of transporting you to the property’s designated quarantine rooms or transferring you to a government-run facility. This also depends on the severity of the infected person’s condition. Infected travellers will be transferred in special vehicles to their quarantine destination. 

For travellers in transit

If you have a long layover till your next flight, the hotel or resort you are staying at during your time in the Maldives is responsible for organising your stay at a specially-designated transit hotel.

Leaving the Maldives

  • If you don’t have any symptoms, you can opt to take a PCR test when you leave the country so you don’t have to quarantine when you get back to India or whatever your home country is. If you choose to take the test, your hotel or resort will help facilitate this. 
  • However, if you appear to have symptoms of the virus, you will be required to take a PCR test before you can leave the Maldives. 
  • Tourists are also required to inform the property they stayed at in the Maldives if, within 14 days of returning home, they test positive for COVID-19. This is designed to aid contact tracing. 

You can monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the Maldives here.

Maldives: What resorts have opened?

The Ministry of Health has green-lighted many resorts around the country to start hosting guests again. These hotels and resorts all have special quarantine and medical facilities, supplies of personal protective equipment as well as a COVID-19 safety manager on staff. Here are some resorts you can book holidays at now and some that will be open very soon. 


Atoll, island


Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Kaufu, Kuda Huraa

Opened 15 July

Soneva Jani

Noonu, Medhufaru

Opened 15 July

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa Maldives

Kaafu, Emboodhu Finolhu

Opened 15 July

You & Me By Cocoon

Raa, Uthurumaafaru

Opened 15 July

Ozen By Atmosphere At Maadhoo

Kaafu, Maadhoo

Opened 15 July

The Residence Maldives At Dhigurah

Gaafu Alifu, Dhigurah

Opened 15 July

Angsana Resort & Spa Maldives Ihuru

Kaafu, Ihuru

Opened 15 July

Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru

Kaafu, Vabbinfaru

Opened 15 July

Constance Halaveli Resort

Alifu Alifu, Halaveli

Opened 15 July

Amilla Fushi

Baa, Finolhas

Opened 15 July

Angsana Resort & Spa Maldives Ihuru

Kaafu, Ihuru

Opened 15 July

One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

Kaafu, Medhufinolhu

Opened 24 July

Ayada Maldives

Gaafu Dhaalu, Magudhdhuvaa

Opened 25 July

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

Kaafu, Vaadhoo

Opened 27 July

Vakkaru Maldives

Baa, Vakkaru

Opened 29 July

Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa Fasmendho

Raa, Fasmendhoo

Opened 1 August

Joali Muravandhoo

Raa, Muravandhoo

Opened 1 August

Dusit Thani Maldives

Baa, Mudhdhoo

Opened 1 August

Coco Palm Dhunikolhu

Baa, Dhunikolhu

Opened 1 August

Coco Bodu Hithi

Kaafu, Boduhithi

Opened 1 August

Six Senses Laamu

Laamu, Olhuveli

Opened 1 August

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Kaafu, Ithaafushi

Opened 1 August

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Noonu, Randheli

Opened 1 August

Varu Island Resort

Kaafu, Madivaru

Open now

Velaa Private Island Maldives

Noonu, Fushivelaavaru

Open now

Lily Beach Resort

Alifu Dhaalu, Huvahendhoo

Open now

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah


Open now

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Baa, Landaa Giraavaru

Open now

Soneva Fushi Resort

Baa, Kunfunadhoo

Open now


Anantara Kihavah Villas

Baa, Kihavah Huravalhi

Will open in September

Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

Gaafu Alifu, Meradhoo

Will open 1 October


Kaafu, Veligan’du Huraa

Will open 1 October

You can find the Ministry of Tourism’s comprehensive list of hotels here.

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In This Story:
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • Maldives
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