Maldives holidays are hugely popular with British tourists thanks to their gleaming white sand, sparkling blue sea and bright sunshine. However, the chances of going to this beautiful island nation any time soon are very slim indeed as coronavirus digs it fingers in and shows little sign of budging. The Maldives have now introduced tough new rules to limit the spread of coronavirus.
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Globally there are currently 472,109 total confirmed cases of coronavirus.
In the Maldives, in the Indian ocean, there are 13 confirmed cases. Zero people have died, and eight people have recovered.
However, despite these very low figures compared to many other countries (the UK has 9,640 cases) the country is taking no risks.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now updated its travel advice to the Maldives.
This comes as the Government of Maldives temporarily suspends visas on-arrival for all nationalities, effective from tomorrow (Friday), in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Maldives,” said the FCO.
“The Maldivian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus.”
This is what you need to know about the new rules for the island nation.
“The Government of Maldives has announced a ban on entry into Maldives of anyone who has left or transited the UK in the last 14 days,” clarified the FCO.
“Like Maldivian nationals returning to Maldives from the UK, British Nationals with residency in Maldives and who have a Maldivian spouse will be admitted and placed into quarantine.
“This does not affect British Nationals already in Maldives who should follow the advice of local authorities.
“The Government has also decided to temporarily suspend visas on arrival for all nationalities, effective from 27 March.”
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The Maldives are also clamping down on movement within the islands.
“The Government of Maldives has declared a Public Health Emergency, effective until 10 April,” detailed the FCO.
“Travel from and to resorts from all inhabited islands is suspended. All excursion activities (such as day trips to picnic islands, fishing and dolphin watching) from all islands, resorts, safaris and guesthouses are now banned across the country until further notice.
“Public spaces like parks or sports grounds are temporarily closed.”
Britons will be unable to book into Maldivian hotels during this time.
“Guest houses and city hotels on all islands across Maldives are currently banned from accepting any new bookings,” said the FCO.
“This ban does not affect guests currently checked-in to any facilities.
“Speak to your tour operator for further information.”
“The new travel restrictions are severely limiting commercial flight schedules,” explained the FCO.
“If you are visiting Maldives you should make arrangement to leave while commercial means are available.
“Speak to you airline or travel company as soon as possible”
“All cruise ships are currently banned from entering and docking in the Maldives.
“Effective from 20 March, entry of all safari boats, yachts and other passenger vessels arriving to Maldives from an overseas location is restricted indefinitely. Speak to your tour operator for further information.”
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