For the past four months, overseas travel has felt like a far-off fantasy thanks to a certain global pandemic. But, finally, there’s light at the end of the quarantine tunnel—at least for one of our favorite travel destinations. The Maldives is reopening in a few days.
The tropical island nation, which comprises nearly 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, is secluded by nature and well-suited to social distancing. To date, there are roughly 150 eye-catching resorts scattered across the archipelago, most of which occupy entire private islands and call for a minimal amount of human interaction.
Since the remote destination relies heavily on tourism, it’s eager to get back into the swing of things. As of July 15, international travelers, including US citizens, will be allowed to stay only on resort islands or boats (just in case you have a superyacht handy). Come August 1, guest houses and hotels on inhabited islands will also be allowed to reopen.
So, where exactly can you stay? By the end of July, the Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism expects that a total of 40 resorts will be up and running. According to a list from the ministry, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru and Soneva Fushi are already welcoming guests, while the One & Only Reethi Rah and Milaidhoo Island while open July 24 and August 1, respectively. Roughly 50 of the remaining resorts plan to open around October 1, while the rest will likely wait until peak season—December to March—when the tropical weather is at its best.
The Maldives has been working toward reopening for weeks and has implemented all recommended cleanliness and hygiene protocols to ensure guests stay safe. The country has also made a concerted effort to build out resources to treat Covid-19, according to Bloomberg.
Entering the Maldives seems to be relatively straightforward, too. Tourists are not required to pay any additional fees or prove they’re virus-free prior to entry, according to an announcement from the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation. And guests without Covid-19 symptoms will not be subject to quarantine measures on arrival. However, any guest who shows symptoms will have to pay for a test. As you might expect, those who may have been exposed to the virus are advised not to travel to the Maldives.
Of course, you’ll need to be cautious while traveling to and from the country. And, upon return, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends any international travelers self-quarantine for 14 days.
In short, this trip will require some planning. But after months stuck at home, it’ll be so worth it.