Ministry develops plan to restart tourism in the Maldives

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has revealed that a plan of action to restart tourism in the Maldives once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control has been shared with the President's Office.

Speaking at a press conference held Monday, Minister Waheed recalled that health experts have warned that the upcoming few days will mark the beginning of the 'peak' of COVID-19 transmissions in the Maldives.

The minister said while health authorities believe the peak will last anywhere between two to six weeks, the public's compliance with the measures implemented by the authority will help bring the rate of infection under control and restore normalcy.

'In this regard, we believe we can open up tourism once again in July. In a moderate scenario, this could be pushed back until October,' said the minister.

Minister Waheed revealed that the paper on a plan of action to restart tourism was compiled based on the experience of foreign nations and the advice of experts. While the plan has now been shared with the President's Office, it will be discussed further with heads of the tourism sector, and their opinion will be sought on the matter, said Minister Waheed.

'For example, the plan includes suggestions such as which airports will be re-opened first, which flights will be operated, and policies to quarantine tourists who test negative for COVID-19 at their respective resort destinations for 14-days,' said Ali Waheed.

The economy of the tourism-dependent archipelago has been hit hard as a result of global travel restrictions. Minister Waheed said the popular tourist destination will be opened once again not for the wealthy but for the benefit of the country's citizens.