Guesthouses located in outer atolls reopened Thursday after more than six months of closure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
But guesthouses in Male and its suburbs remain closed as the capital region is still battling with a community spread of the virus.
Tourism minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom travelled to the island of Maafushi in Kaafu atoll Thursday morning to welcome the first group of visitors that arrived in the country to stay in a local island after the border reopening in July.
Tourism ministry said 22 guesthouses in 12 islands reopened Thursday. The islands which have so far allowed guesthouses to resume operations include:
- Hanimaadhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll
- Narudhoo in Shaviyani Atoll
- Fohdhdoo in Noonu Atoll
- Maafushi and Huraa in Kaafu Atoll
- Mathiveri and Ukulhas in Alif Alif Atoll
- Thinadhoo, Fulidhoo and Keyodhoo in Vaavu Atoll
- Gaadhiffushi in Thaa Atoll
Health authorities had in March imposed a nationwide shut down of all guesthouses and city hotels, as part of a series of drastic measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus outbreak.
With the reopening of guesthouses, permits are being issued based on consent from respective island councils.
Guesthouses also have to meet requirements set by the national Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC).
The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.
Resorts and hotels on uninhabited islands as well as liveaboard vessels were allowed to host tourists (please see a rolling list of resort reopenings here).
Guesthouses and hotels located on inhabited islands were to be allowed to reopen on August 1 but a surge in coronavirus cases in capital Male forced the authorities to extend a ban on guesthouse operations.
With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.
There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.
Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also 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.
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 11,062.
Thirty-five deaths have been reported, while 9,880 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.
‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion: Four draws, countless winners, more to go
The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion, which launched with great fanfare on June 23, continues to captivate audiences across the nation with its promise of incredible prizes and adrenaline-pumping excitement. As Coca-Cola moves forward, the company has announced not one, but four draws that have rewarded lucky winners with exciting prizes!
The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion has been a huge success, with dozens of lucky winners taking home amazing prizes, such as Benelli motorbikes, helmets, and Charged drink cases. The promotion, which started on June 23, has been attracting customers from all over the Maldives, who have been enjoying the refreshing taste of Charged caffeinated beverage and the thrill of scratching their cards to reveal their codes.
So far, four draws have taken place, each one broadcasted live on Television Maldives (TVM) at 9:30pm. The winners of the Benelli motorbikes were Mohamed Adam, MD Musharraf, Mohamed Rasel Hossain and Ahmed Zahir who were ecstatic to receive their prizes and thanked Charged for making their dreams come true. The winners of the helmets and drink cases were also delighted with their rewards and encouraged others to join the promotion.
But don’t worry if you haven’t won yet, because there are still more chances to win! The ‘Get Charged and Win’ promotion is not over yet. That means you still have time to grab your favourite Charged drink, scratch your card, and send your code to 2626 via SMS.
As the exciting journey continues, there are two main draws left in this thrilling event, scheduled for September 24 and October 20. You could be the next lucky winner of a Benelli Leoncino 250 motorbike! But the excitement doesn’t stop there; be sure to keep an eye out for the daily draws, with winners announced regularly on the @ChargedMaldives Instagram page. You could stand a chance to win a Charged branded helmet, or a Charged drink case.
Charged, a ground-breaking addition to Coca-Cola Maldives’ beverage portfolio, is available in 250 ml, in 100% recyclable aluminium cans, in line with our packaging strategy to use 100% recyclable packaging material. The caffeinated beverage is now widely available at major retail outlets, hotels, restaurants, and cafes throughout the Maldives.
JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La unveils Oro’s 100% Arabica Rose Coffee
JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La has introduced a special coffee to their collection – Oro’s 100% Arabica Rose Coffee. This latest addition to the menu of Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go aims to provide coffee lovers with the unique and delicate taste of Oro’s Arabica Rose.
The hotel was alive with excitement on Thursday evening with the launch of Oro’s 100% Arabica rose. Media personnel and coffee enthusiasts were treated to an exclusive tasting experience of freshly brewed Arabica Rose Coffee along with some tasty finger foods.
The highlight of the evening was a lucky draw giveaway, extending an invitation for all the guests to participate and win a Skechers Maldives voucher and coffee voucher from Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go.
Oro’s Arabica Rose Coffee is now available at Jen’s Kitchen on-the-go. It is the perfect spot to refuel with coffee, tea, freshly squeezed juices, or a light bite. Customers can now enroll to become a Shangri-La Circle Member and earn points with every purchase at Jen’s Kitchen On- the-Go and enjoy the rewards at Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
Master Baker Steven to conduct IREKS Baking Art & Science training in Maldives
The return of IREKS Master Baker to the Maldives brings exciting news for the local baking community.
Kuala Lumpur-based Master Baker – Chef Steven Selvamuthu, will be conducting pro-bono culinary demonstrations and extensive training sessions from 19th August to 7th September, 2023. Bakers and Pastry Chefs in resorts and HORECA institutions can look forward to enhancing their skills and knowledge under his guidance.
Steven’s expertise in pastries, acquired through training in Gelato University in Italy and a Chocolate Master program in Switzerland, has been instrumental in providing the best solutions to IREKS’ customers in the Maldives.
IREKS, the renowned German company, is a global player in the industry, celebrated for their expertise in developing innovative baking ingredients and catering to the preferences of the health-conscious and quality-driven generation. IREKS provides high-quality bakery flour and ingredients, including baking improvers, specialty bread mixes, gluten-free mixes, vegan mixes, and confectionary mixes. With a growing awareness of the impact of food production on people and the environment, IREKS offers a diverse range of organic baking improvers and mixes for the efficient production of various organic quality baked goods. They exclusively source raw materials from controlled organic cultivation.
In addition to its range of flour mixes focused on multiple baking needs, IREKS also offers a wide “Free-from” range, accommodating various dietary preferences such as lactose-free, palm oil-free, additive-free, egg-free, sugar-free, or vegan options.
In particular, IREKS has been providing a comprehensive Gluten-Free range since 1995. Gluten, a protein that provides structure, is essential for making grains bakeable, and it would be a challenge to bake without its presence. At the same time, gluten-free baked goods are growing in demand – even from those who do not suffer from medical conditions (e.g.: celiac disease). In order to meet the high safety requirements in this specialised production process, gluten-free ingredients are carefully and meticulously selected and processed at IREKS’s state-of-the-art facilities in Germany.
So, this powerhouse of the baking profession, Master Baker Steven, will share his vast expertise with the resort bakers’ community during these demonstration sessions. Should you wish to participate in a training session, please contact Bestbuy Maldives.
News5 days ago
Ifuru Island Maldives opens on Sept 23
News1 week ago
Soneva Secret revealed: A new, ultra-bespoke resort concept from Soneva
News1 week ago
#SenseTheMoment escape to Angsana Velavaru Maldives with Vietnam’s acclaimed singer, top travel blogger Quang Vinh
Drink6 days ago
Nova Maldives to hold three-day event with visit of highly acclaimed Champagne house Nicolas Maillart
News5 days ago
Lily Hotels elevates guest experience with airport lounge, luxury vehicle at Noovilu Seaplane Terminal
Action1 week ago
ROBINSON NOONU offers exciting sports, well-being events for guests
News1 week ago
ELE | NA wins Readers’ Choice Favourite Spa Brand at GlobalSpa Awards 2023
News1 week ago
Live well, travel well: Experience life through a different lens with Banyan Tree Group