Traveling to the Maldives during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

Editor’s Note — CNN Travel updates this article periodically. It was last updated in its entirety on December 30.

(CNN) — If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

The Maldives reopened borders to all travelers on July 15.

What’s on offer

This is the couples’ destination to end all others — luxury hotels set on private islands, with rooms cantilevered over the water, just in case a walk to the beach is too much effort.

Who can go

All visitors can travel to the Maldives at present, as long as they have tested negative for Covid. Cruise ships are currently banned, however.

What are the restrictions?

All arrivals other than Maldives citizens must present a certificate of a negative PCR test carried out within the 96 hours prior to departure, clearly showing the name and address of the laboratory, as well as the date of the sample taken.

The result must be attached to the Traveler Health Declaration form which must be submitted online within the 24 hours prior to arrival.

Hotels are open and guesthouses reopened to international visitors October 15. Tourists are allowed to split stays between hotels. However, if you spend more than 48 hours in the Greater Male’ area, you must take another PCR test before moving elsewhere.

Since the discovery of the new UK variant in late December, all non-tourist arrivals from the UK, including transiting passengers, must undergo a 10-day quarantine. However, this does not apply to tourists.

All passengers leaving the airport on arrival will have a health check.

What’s the Covid situation

There have been just 48 Maldives deaths, and a total of under 14,000 cases as of December 30.

What can visitors expect?

The Maldives are selling themselves as a destination offering a “normal” vacation, thanks to the isolation of most hotels and the fact that the vast majority of visitors stay in-resort rather than venture out.

This means that while locals are subject to restrictions, those going to and from the airport are exempt. Split stays between different hotels are allowed, if the hotels meet government requirements. Requests for split stays must be made 48 hours before travel to the Ministry of Tourism.

Expect also for your resort to have some rules — especially a temperature check on arrival, and masks to be worn indoors.

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CNN’s Julia Buckley contributed to this report

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