Thulusdhoo welcomed its first tourists in nearly eight months on Saturday, after the government lifted its restriction on guesthouse operations in residential islands.
The Maldivian government began permitting guesthouses to reopen on October 15, and a guesthouse in Thulusdhoo, a residential island in K. Atoll, has also been allowed to reopen, seeing the island welcome its first tourists in months.
Guesthouses, as well as the islands where they are situated, are required to fulfill specific requirements before they can be allowed to reopen.
Thulusdhoo held a small function to welcome its first tourists in months on Saturday, attended by Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom.
Thanks #Thulusdhoo team for the invitation to participate in the event to welcome the #firstguests to the island after reopening. Short but superb function. Saabas Thulusdhoo!!— Abdulla Mausoom (@Mausoom_Maus) November 7, 2020
#Maldives #visitmaldives pic.twitter.com/d6nax25zco
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thulusdhoo was a vibrant local tourism hotspot, especially popular among international surfers. The guesthouse business is linked with the livelihood of the majority of Thulusdhoo’s residents, most of them young men and women.
Information released by Tourism Ministry shows 69 guesthouses have been allowed to reopen so far.
Both tourists and local residents in islands with operational guesthouses are required to wear masks in public.
Guesthouses are required to have a COVID-19 safe plan in place before they can be allowed to reopen. Once a guesthouse shares the plan with the Tourism Ministry, the Tourism Ministry will review the plan and grant permission after the local council of the island where the guesthouse is located visits the property to ensure that arrangements have been made in accordance with the plan, and that all health and safety requirements have been met.
Each guesthouse is required to establish a focal point, and to have rooms designated for quarantine and isolation.
Maldives has more than 10,000 tourist beds in guesthouses across 86 islands, and 10 percent of tourist arrivals to Maldives stay in guesthouses.
The guesthouse business is linked to the income and livelihood of more than 6,000 Maldivians.
The islands allowed to reopen guesthouses:
Maldives is currently open to all tourists, provided they have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken maximum 96 hours before departure from their original destination.