We’ve heard a lot about vaccine passports and destinations being creative in attracting travelers – like offering to subsidize your travel costs while traveling to Malta this summer. But a group of glamorous Indian Ocean islands just announced an idea we can join in: the Maldives plan to have travelers vaccinated against Covid-19 when they arrive on vacation.
The new initiative, announced on TBEN by the country’s Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom, is only part of a three-pronged attempt to revive the country’s economy. Mausoom calls this a “3V” strategy: “visit, vaccinate and spend vacations”. The date on which it will come into force has not yet been announced.
Like many other destinations that depend on tourism, the Maldives have been hit hard during the pandemic. Tourism represents about 28% of the economy of the Maldives. Typically, over 1.7 million visitors come to the Maldives every year. In 2020, the archipelago recorded less than a third of that number, with 555,494 foreigners vacationing in these idyllic islands, although it was considered a success.
As of July 2020, the Maldives allow travelers from all countries to visit. Foreign visitors must have with a certificate of a negative PCR test which must be taken within 96 hours before departure. Visitors should also download a national contact tracing application and use it during their trip. According to Mausoom, the country will soon announce that it will allow those vaccinated to enter, without restriction.
The CDC has the country at Level 4 for a very high level of Covid, although numbers have declined in this island nation, with 90 new infections reported on average every day. According to Reuters, about 18.6% of the country’s 500,000 people are fully vaccinated, and Mausoom says 90% of its frontline tourism workers have been vaccinated.
Given the prospect of this exciting new initiative, we believe now is the perfect time to start dreaming of a trip to these dream islands. Check out these photos of the most beautiful places in the Maldives.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Idyllic palm-fringed paradise, Six Senses Laamu, Maldives combines luxury and sustainability. An award-winning marine conservation initiative based at the resort focuses on research, client education and community outreach goals. And for aspiring environmentalists between the ages of 6 and 16, there is a unique junior marine biology program.
Villas in Anantara Kihavah
A promise of great adventure awaits you at Anantara Kihavah Villas. Snorkel with manta rays, gaze at the stars at the only overwater observatory in the Maldives, and savor fine dining underwater at SEA, the world’s first oceanfront restaurant and wine cellar. The resort also has the largest collection of residences with private pools in the world.
Soneva Jani – a collection of island shrines and overwater villas nestled in a crystal-clear lagoon – caters to everyone from children to honeymooners. And with the new Soneva Academy, kids ages 12 and up can take a series of educational courses that cover a range of fascinating topics about the Maldives, from marine life to the night sky to zero waste. (The program is also offered at sister property Soneva Fushi.)
An adults-only paradise, Hurawalhi Maldives is famous for its 5.8 underwater restaurant. It is located in Lhaviyani Atoll, where there are over 50 dive sites within easy reach.
For ocean and beach lovers, COMO Maalifushi is renowned for its diving and surfing spots. One of the more recent water excursions is the Whale Shark Night Snorkel. Guests are taken on a boat from the resort to find the biggest fish in the sea. The clear waters of the Maldives allow for an aquarium-like view of gentle giants.
Soneva in Aqua
Travelers can now embark from the luxury barefoot Soneva Fushi resort for a new four-day, three-night Goidhoo experience aboard the Soneva in Aqua yacht. The yacht provides an ultra-luxurious escape to Goidhoo Island, which can only be reached by boat, is not often frequented by divers and surfers and offers a rare and unspoiled paradise full of vibrant marine life and corals.
Niyama Private Islands Maldives
Located on two islands, Niyama Private Islands Maldives is the only luxury resort in the Maldives with its own wave breaking on the shore. After a day of surfing, you can unwind at the Surf Shack with its tomato red food truck, comfy bean bags and seaside swings, relaxing to a reggae soundtrack. The 134 villas, suites and pavilions of the hotel are scattered along the beaches and stretch out over the lagoon
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands aims to bring families together, spark curiosity in young minds, and challenge the idea that getting away from it all means just sitting down.
Velaa private island
In 2020, Velaa private island planted 2,000 new corals and now sees an increase in tropical fish and thriving marine life in the transplant areas. This year, Velaa is offering eco-conscious guests the chance to observe coral biologists by collecting research as they snorkel and plant new corals on their own.
The Nautilus Maldives
The Nautilus Maldives has launched a new adrenaline-fueled adventure: skydiving, allowing adrenaline seekers to jump from a height of 12,000 feet above the Indian Ocean and enjoy a 360-degree view. on Baa Atoll.
Private Island of Kudadoo Maldives
Exclusive resort with 15 overwater villas, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offers an all-inclusive ‘Anything, Anytime, Anywhere’ approach. All private dining, access to an extensive wine cellar, spa treatments and water experiences are fully included in the price per night.
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