Maldives lifts PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers

 Monday, March 21, 2022

Maldives lifts PCR Tests for fully vaccinated travellers

The Maldives has relaxed testing requirements for passengers entering the country. Travellers are no longer required to present a negative PCR test result if they have completed the prescribed dose(s) of COVID-19 vaccine.

Effective from 5th March, 2022, the following changes have been brought regarding the PCR requirement, “(a) Passengers entering to Maldives are no longer required to present a PCR negative test result upon arrival if the individual(s) have completed the prescribed dose(s) of a Covid-19 vaccine that is being approved by the Maldives Food & Drug Authority or by the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and at least 14 (fourteen) days have passed since. (Booster dose(s) are not required to be eligible for this exemption). (b) Tourists who spend their holiday in tourist facilities in inhabited islands are no longer required to do a PCR test when departing from respective inhabited islands.”

“Additionally, children (above one year) who are not eligible for vaccination and individual(s) who have not completed the prescribed dose(s) of a Covid-19 vaccine, will still be required to present a negative PCR upon arrival to Maldives, for which the sample for the PCR is taken at most 96 (ninety-six) hours before the departure from the first port of embarkation,” the circular stated. However, all inbound international travellers still need to complete the Traveler Health Declaration form within 48 hours of their flight.

Indians have been contributing the largest share of international tourists in Maldives. Visitors from the country surpassed visitors from other countries for two years in a row in 2020 and 2021. In order to maintain the momentum and to further increase the arrival figure from India in 2022, Maldives continues to target varied traveller segments from the country. The Maldives government has initiated the process of granting Indian nationals visa free entry for business for a period of 90 days beginning 1st February.

As of 6th March, 2022, India is one of the top source markets for Maldives and ranks number three in terms of tourist arrivals by welcoming over 29,643 travellers from the country.

India was the largest market in 2021 with over 278,740 travelers and a market share of 22.6%. Similarly, India was the largest market in 2020 with an arrival figure of 62,960 and a market share of 11.3%. MMPRC has been participating in fairs and exhibitions and holding several activities for the market in order to maintain destination momentum and further increase arrivals from this market. This includes virtual and in-person activities such as major marketing campaigns with stakeholders, roadshows and familiarization trips.

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