Over 60 Maldives resorts reopen
Over 60 resorts in Maldives have reopened, less than a month after the island nation reopened its borders to visitors after an extended closure in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Only 15 out of the 150 plus licensed resorts were in operation when the Maldives reopened its borders on July 15. They are:
- Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
- Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah
- Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
- Angsana Ihuru
- Angsana Velavaru
- Hard Rock Hotel Maldives
- SAii Lagoon Maldives
- Velaa Private Island Maldives
- Soneva Fushi
- Lily Beach Resort & Spa
- LUX* North Male Atoll
- OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo
- OBLU Select at Sangeli
- OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli
- VARU by Atmosphere
Twenty-four resorts reopened in July after the border reopening. They are:
- Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives
- Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
- Taj Exotica Maldives Resort & Spa
- Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa
- Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives
- Furaveri Resort Maldives
- Fihalhohi Island Resort
- Noku Maldives
- Constance Halaveli
- Paradise Island Resort
- Amilla Fushi Maldives (private island buyout only; regular visitors in October)
- Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives
- Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa
- Cinnamon Dhonveli
- Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon
- Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives
- Ayada Maldives
- Cocoon Maldives
- You & Me by Cocoon Maldives
- The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah
- Soneva Jani
- Amaya Kuda Rah Maldives
- Kudafushi Resort & Spa Maldives
- Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
Another 22 began welcoming guests on Saturday:
- Vakkaru Maldives
- Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa
- ROBINSON Club Noonu
- Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa
- Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
- Bandos Maldives
- Royal Island Resort
- Sun Island Resort
- Fun Island Resort
- Nika Island Resort
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
- JOALI Maldives
- Dusit Thani Maldives
- Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives
- Hotel Jen by Shangri-La, Male, Maldives
- One&Only Reethi Rah
- Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort
- The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives
- Dusit Thani Maldives
- Coco Bodu Hithi
- Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
- Six Senses Laamu
- LUX* South Ari Atoll
Cheval Blanc Randheli will also reopen from August 15.
Meanwhile, 23 resorts will reopen on September 1. Another 31 will also begin welcoming guests from October. For a full list of resort reopenings, please follow this link.
No entry restrictions
The Maldives reopened its borders to visitors on July 15.
With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists who has a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country. The entire holiday has to be booked at a single facility except for transit arrangements.
There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival. Tourists have to complete a health declaration form only.
But visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are tested at their own expense.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit the Maldivian economy hard, as travel restrictions and other preventive measures affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry, which contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.
Before the pandemic, the government had been bullish about tourism prospects, targeting two million, high-spending holidaymakers this year after last year’s record 1.7 million.
However, only 382,760 tourists visited the Maldives before the country closed its borders on March 27. It was a 40.8 per cent decline over the 646,092 that visited the Maldives from January to March last year.
With arrival numbers falling, several resorts across the Maldives were closed.
Meanwhile, the government’s best case scenario now puts total tourist arrivals for 2020 just above 800,000.
Tourism has been the bedrock of the Maldives’ economic success. The $5 billion-dollar economy grew by 6.7 per cent in 2018 with tourism generating 60 per cent of foreign income.
However, the government is at present projecting a possible 13 per cent economic contraction this year — an estimated $778 million hit.
On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.
Eighteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except five Maldivians who had returned from abroad — were later identified.
A six-case cluster of locals, detected in capital Male on April 15, confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus. Several more clusters have since been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed case in the Maldives to 3,950.
Seventeen deaths have been reported, while 2,613 have made full recoveries.
The Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.
The public health emergency declaration allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including stay-at-home orders in capital Male and its suburbs, a ban on inter-island transport and public gatherings across the country, and a nationwide closing of government offices, schools, colleges and universities.
Non-essential services and public places in the capital such as gyms, cinemas and parks were also shut.
Restaurants and cafes in the capital were asked to stop dine-in service and switch to takeaway and delivery.
A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses, city hotels and spa facilities located on inhabited islands was also ordered.
These measures allowed authorities to contain the outbreak.
The restrictions are now being eased in phases, with the third phase measures now active.