Maldives stops arrival of travellers from South Asia (including India) due to the Pandemic

The Maldives, once the dream destination for Indians, had recently become very attractively priced for Indians and one of the only two destinations allowing easy entry for Indians. This worked for the Maldives, as in the wake of closed borders, the westerners weren’t coming. Indians became the second-highest number of arrivals in the Maldives then, accounting for 21 per cent of the 400,000 tourists who arrived since the start of 2021. Now, Maldives suspends tourists from India, because of the new wave of the pandemic in the region.

Maldives suspends Tourists from India

The Maldives Suspends Tourists from India

The Maldives, however, has had to take steps to close down entry to Indians given the second wave of the pandemic. At first, they only barred Indians from inhabited islands of the Maldives. Now, there is a full-scale ban on Indian passport holders arriving in the Maldives coming up.

The Health Protection Agency of Maldives has put out a message that states that starting May 13, tourist visas for tourists travelling from South Asian countries will be temporarily halted.

South Asia, per the Maldives, includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. There is no clarity at the moment about how long this ban will be for. Here is the official circular.

Indians don’t need a pre-approved visa to visit the Maldives, but a Visa on Arrival is given to Indian passport holders free of cost on arrival. Also, the above tweet means foreigners travelling from India will also be barred from entering the Maldives till future notice.

On May 8, 2021, Maldives also shut down the entry of Work Permit Holders from South Asia. The Maldives is battling a covid spread of its own, unfortunately at this time.

Unfortunately, this means trouble for those who are already in the Maldives at this time. Airlines have already cut flights on the back of demand going down, and the last notification in April 2021 created confusion and dropped traffic massively. Now, airlines may stop operating to the Maldives altogether unless cargo operations make them operate flights.

Anybody here whose trip to the Maldives getting cancelled because of the Pandemic?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. With the recent terrorist attacks and travel advisories, it might not be the best time to visit there.

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