Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Maldives will require a negative coronavirus test for international arrivals beginning Sept. 10. Domestic controls extended to Oct. 6.

Alert Begins 06 Sep 2020 08:27 PM UTC
Alert Expires 06 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Beginning Sept. 10, authorities in the Maldives will require all tourists and short-term visitors arriving in the country to present a negative coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test result upon arrival. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before departing to the Maldives. Inbound foreign travelers must reserve accommodations at either one resort or a maximum of two different approved resorts, where they are to spend their entire time in the Maldives, except when visiting dining facilities and recreation venues approved by the Ministry of Tourism. While there is no mandatory quarantine for asymptomatic travelers, all persons entering the country must submit an online health declaration via the "Imuga" portal within 24 hours before travel. Officials may modify regulations based on a passenger's nationality and travel history, and authorities could suspend international travel at short notice. Only foreign tourists in transit can check into hotels or guesthouses in the Greater Male urban area; others must stay in resorts, where officials may enforce temporary movement restrictions in the event of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. Authorities have advised Maldivian citizens to refrain from all nonessential international travel. Citizens and long-term residents are required to undergo 14-day home quarantines upon arrival.

Authorities in the Maldives are continuing to impose some domestic restrictions through at least Oct. 6. A state of public health emergency is scheduled to expire on Oct. 6, although further extensions are likely. Officials continue to impose a curfew 2200-0500 in the capital, Male, as well as in the nearby islands of Gulhifalhu, Hulhumale, Thilafushi, and Villimale. Businesses in the Greater Male Region can operate 0600-2130, and private vehicles are barred from using roadways 2000-0500. The government continues to ban gatherings of more than five people and requires residents to wear face coverings. People who break quarantine or isolation rules will face fines of up to 5,000 Rufiyaa (325 USD). Interisland ferry travel is only authorized for medical emergencies and other urgent needs. Authorities continue to encourage nonessential public and private entities to allow employees to telecommute to the extent possible. Establishments are required to ensure sanitation and social distancing.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm business appointments, deliveries, and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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