Maldives No Longer Open to Non-Citizen Arrivals (Effective Immediately)

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I’m trust I’m not the only one who is daydreaming about getting on a plane once this is all over. At this point, a middle seat in the last row, next to the bathroom, on a Spirit Airlines flight would make me happy (ok…I’m exaggerating…or am I?? muuahahaha) <–This sentence clearly shows that cabin fever is real.

Anyway, I guess this is a good time to reveal that my trip to the Maldives is officially canceled. I had planned to surprise my wife with a trip to the island nation located in the Indian Ocean (hence the reason that I had not written about it on the blog) but today (27 March 2020), the country officially closed the borders to non-citizen arrivals so it’s a no-go.

Note: Don’t worry my wife doesn’t read my blog so there’s no disappointment to be had from her perspective.

Similar to most island nations, the country is largely dependent on tourism to bring in cash and employ a large percentage of locals.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement by the Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih:

The President noted that of the thirteen positive COVID-19 cases in the Maldives (all of whom are foreign nationals) eight have now made a full recovery, and that the remaining five are in good condition. Despite this, he added, now is not the time to lower caution.

The President announced that the present closure of government offices, schools, colleges and universities will be extended for a further week. Moreover, the President also announced that as a further precaution, the Maldives will temporarily halt providing on-arrival visas from 27th March 2020 onwards. He also stated that resort staff may leave their workplaces and return home 14 days after the last tourist leaves the island.

FINAL STAMP

At this point, it’s unclear for how long this entry ban is in place. Although this is by far the least important issue, the future is bleak and will be going to be particularly difficult time for all of the expensive resorts. They have already been empty for weeks and will continue to be empty for weeks to come which is never a good equation for a hotel.

In fact, the W Maldives has stopped accepting reservations and according to their availability calendar won’t reopen until July 1. Yikes!

It’s unlikely that the tourism numbers will rebound over the next 12 months so let’s hope that these hotels prepared for a rainy day or you may be able to buy an island resort on the cheap soon.

Did anyone have plans to go to the Maldives soon? Has anyone been to the Maldives? what was your experience?

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