President announces closure of on arrival visa to the Maldives
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has decided to close on arrival visa starting 27th March, effectively banning all inbound passengers. Hence, no foreign national will be able to fly in to the Maldives, until further notice.
During the announcement president said that the government is aware of the impacts these measures will have on the tourism industry. However, this is something needed taking current situation to consideration. President also highlighted that Maldives economy is experiencing a heavy loss and to recover from it, BML will be providing MVR 308 million to resorts and guesthouses and SDFC loan repayments for SMEs will also be postponed.
Maldives, known for its luxury tourist resorts has several resorts across the country closed due to the Covid-19 pendamic. Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law. The Maldivian government and HPA has announced series of restrictions and social distancing since then to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses and hotels has been ordered, including a ban on inter-island travel of tourists, including for excursions and between resort islands. Maldivian borders are already close to arrivals from some of the worst-hit countries, including mainland China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, Spain, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Visitors from three regions of Germany (Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg), two regions of France (Île-de-France and Grand Est) and two regions of South Korea are also banned from entering the country.