The Maldives has become the latest destination around the world to completely remove its Covid-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. The island nation, famed for having some of the clearest seas and most beautiful beaches in the world, made the exciting change to their Covid-19 related entry requirements over the weekend, becoming the latest in a rapidly growing list of countries to have removed their Covid-19 testing requirements for travelers arriving from abroad.
Yet whilst this is about to make travel to the island paradise cheaper, easier and more attractive for travelers, there are still some Covid-19 related rules and restrictions that those planning on visiting the Maldives will have to follow. Here’s a look at the country’s recent restriction change, plus a recap of what else travelers have to do in order to be able to visit the Maldives.
Entry Eased – What Travelers Should Know
The Maldives has history for making decisions that make it easier for travelers to enter, reopening for international travel in July 2020 before changing to a system that allowed travelers to be able to enter the country with the aid of a negative Covid-19 PCR test back in July 2021. As well as previously having to test to enter, travelers also had to test prior to leaving the country – but these requirements have now been removed for many travelers.
A circular sent by the Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism on Friday to all tourist facilities revealed that the country was removing its Covid-19 testing requirements. The announcement stated that it would be removing testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers only – adding that travelers did not need to be boosted to be eligible.
The circular read as follows:
Passengers entering to Maldives are NO LONGER required to present a PCR negative test result upon arrival if the individual(s) have completed the prescribed dose(s) of a Covid-19 vaccine that is being approved by the Maldives Food & Drug Authority or by the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and at least 14 (fourteen) days have passed since. (Booster dose(s) are not required to be eligible for this exemption).
Referencing the removal of the Covid-19 test upon departure requirement, the tourism ministry’s circular went on to add:
Tourists who spend their holiday in tourist facilities in inhabited islands are NO LONGER required to do a PCR test when departing from respective inhabited islands.
Interestingly, the changes only apply to international tourists, not work permit holders or Maldivians.
There is still however one key requirement that travelers will still need to fulfil in order to be able to visit the Maldives. Despite changes to the testing requirements, travelers will still be required to complete the Traveler Health Declaration Form online within 48 hours of their departure to the Maldives, with this requirement extending to arrivals at both airports and seaports. This form asks about a traveler’s contact details in the Maldives, flight details, Covid-19 vaccination information, quarantine requirements and health status.
Those who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are still permitted to enter the Maldives, but must take a Covid-19 PCR test in order to be able to do so. The window for testing is quite generous, with unvaccinated travelers allowed to take their test at most 96 hours prior to the first port of embarkation.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com