Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: International travel resumes in Maldives as of July 15; most domestic COVID-19 controls eased. Social distancing, health measures in place.

  • Alert Begins: 15 Jul 2020 06:49 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 07 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Limited transport and business disruptions, movement controls

Summary
Authorities in the Maldives have allowed resumption of international travel from July 15. Foreigners with bookings at any individual resort can obtain a 30-day on-arrival visa; asymptomatic travelers require no mandatory testing or quarantine. Maldives is maintaining limited domestic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions under the extended state of public health emergency through Aug. 7. A shortened daily curfew 2300-0500 will continue in the capital, Male. Up to 30 people can gather for nonessential activities. Most educational institutions, public sites, places of worship, and business establishments, including dine-in eateries, are operational since July 1. Government offices and some businesses are operating with limited hours as a precaution; however, authorities continue to encourage nonessential public and private entities to utilize telecommuting facilities to the extent possible. Facilities are required to ensure sanitation and social distancing. Individuals must wear masks in public areas. Public transport, domestic flights, and inter-island ferry services have also resumed operations, though availability is affected by low demand.

Travel Restrictions

As of July 15, authorities have removed previously imposed visa and entry restrictions for all foreigners. Inbound foreign travelers must reserve accommodation at one resort, where they are to spend their time in Maldives outside of sites such as eateries and tourist spots approved by the Ministry of Tourism. Maldivian authorities require no health certification or test results; however, individual airlines may require these for boarding. There is no mandatory quarantine for asymptomatic travelers. Officials may modify regulations based on a passenger's nationality and travel history, and authorities could rescind resumption of 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 and exit restrictions in the event of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. Authorities have advised Maldivian citizens to suspend all nonessential international travel.

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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