Minister of Tourism, Honorable Abdulla Mausoom stated that the regulations are to be amended to make it compulsory for tourists to have a confirmed negative COVID-19 test result in order to visit the Maldives.
The new amendment to regulation is aimed to ensure safety for tourists and staff as mentioned by the minister, where more tourists will have the assurance that the Maldives is the safest destination to travel for holidays which will in turn increase the number of tourist arrivals as aimed. The borders of the Maldives were closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. Since the border was open for tourism, tourists were only tested for COVID-19 for departure upon the requests by the airlines while some COVID-19 cases were found from the new tourist arrivals.
The tourist arrivals declined compared estimated number of tourist arrivals by the Ministry of Tourism as the border opens where 120,000 tourists are currently estimated to arrive the Maldives by end of 2020. The minister outlined that the tourist arrivals will reach 7,000 by end of this month. The decline was caused with travel restrictions and other COVID-19 regulations in major markets including China, United Kingdom and Europe.
The minister further stated that the economy of the Maldives depend on tourism industry and that efforts are being made to provide assurance to millions of tourists who visited the Maldives that the country is a safe destination to travel in order to increase tourist arrivals.