Maldives to Vaccinate Tourists upon Arrival
Maldives will soon offer visitors vaccinations on arrival as part of its three-pronged initiative aimed at reviving the country’s hard hit travel sector, according to its tourism minister.
The “3V” strategy, which encourages tourists to “visit, vaccinate, and vacation,” will provide a “more convenient” way to visit the country, Abdulla Mausoom told CNBC on Wednesday.
At present, visitors to Maldives must provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and proof of hotel booking to gain entry. Mausoom said the country’s Health Protection Agency is set to make an announcement on restriction-free entry to vaccinated arrivals “very soon — maybe even this week.”
Maldives, an archipelago state in South Asia renowned for its tropical beaches and pristine waters, is heavily dependent on its tourism industry. Around 67% of its gross domestic product (GDP) is derived directly and indirectly from the sector.
The tourism minister would not be pushed on a timeline for the visitor vaccination rollout. He noted that the government’s priority is to ensure the entire resident population receives their first and second shots first.
However, once that process is complete, the country will be ready to vaccinate arrivals, he said.