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The Maldives to offer tourists COVID-19 vaccines on arrival

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Apr 16, 2021 9:30 pm

To gain back what it has lost in its tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maldives plans to offer to tourists the opportunity to get vaccinated upon arrival.

Maldives Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom announced that the country will implement a “3V” strategy, which encourages arriving tourists to “visit, vaccinate, and vacation," a move to reach its target of 1.5 million tourist arrivals and 10 million bed nights this year.

According to the tourism minister, the plan is to offer two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to tourists, which would mean those who were up for the jab would need to stay in the country for several weeks until they have been fully vaccinated with their two doses. Maussom did not specify if the tourist will have to pay for the jabs.

Mausoom said the program will begin once the entire population of the country has been fully inoculated. At present, about 53% of the country’s population have received their first dose, and according to the tourism minister, about 90% of its frontline tourism staff have been vaccinated with the first dose.

With its endless turquoise waters that meet the clear, blue skies in the horizon, Maldives is a favorite among jetsetters and laid-back travelers. This country, located just south of India and Sri Lanka, is among the first countries to reopen to all travelers, including those from the Philippines, in the middle of the pandemic with no restrictions.

The Maldives Tourism Ministry said the country is also becoming popular as a “workation” haven for rich executives, who come to the country and hold their base there.

When traveling to the Maldives, one is required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of departure and a confirmed hotel booking.