The Maldives has officially confirmed that it will open up to travelers from India and other South Asian countries on 15th July. The popular archipelago will only require a negative RT-PCR before arrival for entry and no quarantine. In response, airlines have quickly restored their schedules. Let’s find out more.
After just over two months, the Maldives will open to Indian and South Asian tourists from Thursday, 15th July. Currently, travelers can only stay on stand-alone resorts and islands and will only be able to stay in local guesthouses from 30th July onwards. A list of approved resorts can be found on the Maldivian government’s website here.
Entry requirements for travelers from India are simple. All passengers above the age of one must bring a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within the last 96 hours. This means your test sample must be collected at least 96 hours before your arrival in Malè. Even those fully inoculated with any vaccine are required to arrive with negative tests.
Passengers must also fill in a self-health declaration, with a copy of their negative test, anytime 24 hours before their arrival.
The restrictions are more liberal than other countries, which usually require samples taken 48 or 72 hours before arrival. However, this will allow passengers more than enough time to get their testing in order. In response to the reopening, airlines have responded by quickly re-adding flights to the Maldives.
Back in action
Before May, Indian airlines had all seized on demand to fly to the Maldives. IndiGo, GoAir, and Vistara all launched new services to the country to cater to a surge of travelers. As travel restrictions meant Europe and Asia were mostly off the map for Indias, the short journey to the Maldives became a quick favorite.
As flights resume, airlines are back equally quickly. IndiGo will offer direct flights to Malè from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kochi starting July 15th. GoAir will fly from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Vistara’s Mumbai service is currently not available for sale, while Air India will not start flights from Delhi, Bangalore, or Trivandrum until early August.
A new entrant to the Maldives market will be SpiceJet. The carrier announced last week that it would offer flights to Malè from Kochi and Mumbai from late July, officially marking the entry of all major Indian airlines into the Maldives market.
For the Maldives, the return of Indian tourists will be a huge boost. India was the largest market for tourism arrival last year and in early 2021, prior to the ban. With borders now open, expect to see thousands of more passengers arrive every week as grounded and excited travelers take to the skies internationally once again.