Guesthouses in the Maldives could reopen by August

Tourists take a stroll down a street in K. Maafushi, a residential island popular for local tourism. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

The government of Maldives has stated that guesthouses in the Maldives could be allowed to reopen in August.

A policy on reopening the country and its tourism industry was drafted by the Ministry of Tourism. Named as “Safe Tourism Guidelines”, the policy states that guesthouses could be reopened in August. The date is subject to change based on the situation regarding COVID-19 in the Maldives.

Safe Tourism Licenses will be issued to tourist guesthouses after approval from the local council of the island where the guesthouse is located. 

Tourists will only be allowed to travel to their guesthouses after receiving the results of their on-arrival PCR screening result, read the policy.

Contact tracing records must also be maintained by boats carrying tourists as well as places of business (such as restaurants) serving tourists. 

Social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times by places of business serving tourists. Tourists traveling to local islands are also required to maintain social distancing with locals.

The guidelines also stipulated that superyachts and private jets could be allowed in the country by June. Charter and commercial flights are to be recommenced in July.

The Maldivian tourism industry is at a complete standstill due to COVID-19. A survey conducted by the Guesthouse Association of Maldives has estimated that it could take six months to recover from the economic impact of the virus. Around USD 28.9 million could be suffered as losses by the industry during that time