Local Island Travel in Maldives During Covid – FAQs
When travelling to the Maldives during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a few extra things you need to think about. Luckily, the Maldives government has tried to make it as straightforward as possible to still enjoy your holiday in the Maldives, but there are a few extra steps you need to be aware of.
It’s now August 2021, and we’ve gotten quite used to implementing extra safety measures in our daily lives, but when it comes to travelling the rules can be confusing! So here’s all the basics you need to know about travelling to a local island in the Maldives during the Covid pandemic – these are based on the most frequently asked questions we receive through our DMs and emails. If you still have questions, just drop us a line.
1. Can I travel to the Maldives now?
As of August 6th 2021 when we are updating this blog, arrivals from all countries are allowed to enter Maldives on a tourist visa.
2. Will I receive a tourist visa on arrival?
Yes. This process has not changed. All permitted travellers will receive a free, 30-day tourist visa upon arrival in the Maldives.
3. Do I need to show a negative Covid PCR test to travel?
Yes. In order to enter the Maldives, you must show a negative PCR test (and it must be PCR, not rapid antigen etc) that is no older than 96 hours at the time of your departure from your country. You will need to print this off or have it on your phone to show your airline and to show at Maldives immigration on arrival.
This applies for all travellers – both vaccinated and non-vaccinated. There is no distinction made.
4. Do I need to do anything else?
Yes, You will also need to complete a Health Declaration Form on the Maldives IMUGA portal, where you will also be asked to upload a copy of your negative PCR result. This must ONLY be done within the 24 hours before you depart. By completing your Health Declaration Form, you will generate a QR code, which you will need to show to your airline at check-in.
When you depart from the Maldives, you will have to repeat this process.
5. What else do I have to show to immigration?
You will have to show a booking confirmation, or multiple booking confirmations, that cover your entire stay in the Maldives.
6. Do I have to get Covid Travel Insurance?
We highly recommend that you do. In the unlikely event that you test positive during your stay and have to quarantine, all expenses incurred will be the traveller’s responsibility.
There is a Maldivian Insurance company called Allied Insurance that is offering very reasonably priced insurance policies for inbound travellers that we do recommend checking out.
7. So I would have to quarantine if I tested positive during my stay Fulidhoo? Does this happen a lot?
In the unlikely event that you test positive during your stay in Fulidhoo, then you would have to be isolated either in your guesthouse (in a designated room) or in an isolation facility on the island. If you were to become very unwell, your care would be overseen by the island doctor.
Luckily, this is extremely rare and (touch wood!) has not happened to any of our divers since we reopened last October.
8. So do i have to get tested regularly during my stay in Fulidhoo/the Maldives?
No. The only time you will have to get a PCR test is at the end of your stay in the Maldives. All travellers who stay in a local island at any point during their stay in the Maldives, must do a PCR test within the 72 hours before they leave the Maldives. These results should again be uploaded to the IMUGA portal.
9. So can you arrange a PCR test in Fulidhoo?
Yes. It’s a super simple procedure. The island doctor comes to your guesthouse and takes your sample. This is then sent to Male for analysis and results come back usually within 24-36 hours. This costs 85USD per person and is all arranged by your guesthouse.
10. If I’m travelling between different local islands/resorts/liveaboards, do I need to get tested between each one?
Luckily no. But what does need to happen is that a Split Stay Form needs to be submitted to the Tourism Ministry on your behalf by your tourism facility. This sounds complicated but is in fact super straightforward. All you need to do is to put the guesthouse (or liveaboard/resort) that you are travelling from in contact with the guesthouse you are traveling to. They’ll take care of the rest! This can be done when you are actually in the Maldives – you cannot do it ahead of time.
Mentioned above are the regulations according to the Maldives government. Some resorts may have their own in-house policies – for example, some resorts are not accepting arrivals from those who have visited a local island first – so you’ll have to check with the resort you are thinking of staying at after your visit for Fulidhoo.
11. So can I travel freely between any local island that I like?
Yes and no – this is the trickiest question. This depends on the Covid-19 status of the island and whether the island is under monitoring status or not. Islands come under monitoring status if an active case of community transmission is confirmed. And this means new rules come into effect. For travel this means that you cannot travel from an island under monitoring to any other island – not even to another island under monitoring. This means that you can either spend your whole holiday in that island, or that it should be the last destination of your holiday. Effectively, the only place you can travel to from an island under monitoring is to the airport.
You can travel to an island under monitoring from an island that is not, but not the other way around.
12. How quickly can the status of an island change?
The status of a local island can change overnight – this is the nature of the pandemic. It happens as soon as the community case is confirmed. This is why we recommend that travellers don’t plan to island hop too much during their trip to the Maldives, or that they at least allow for some flexibility in their plans.
13. Is Fulidhoo under monitoring status?
As of today, August 6th, Fulidhoo is not under monitoring status, although we were for most of May and June. Please contact us to check.
14. How can I check if an island is under monitoring?
The best thing to do is just to message your guesthouse or dive centre and ask for an update. Otherwise you can join this official guesthouses Viber group which posts updates daily:
Join Guesthouses Official MOT grp https://invite.viber.com/?g2=AQBmUXXZt9%2BLgUw8n6uPMm7ftnFXQMWPBYyflp%2FHvaLvXm6hYwd8sSerJQ7w6Y6W on Viber