Information regarding COVID-19 and Maldives
March 30, 2020
- If American Citizens are determined to have COVID-19, they may be placed in quarantine in local hospitals or on islands where they are staying. The Embassy is limited in its ability to visit individuals and may not be able to secure the release of citizens until their recovery.
- The following airline is still providing service departing Maldives: Qatar Airways.
Update: The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite time frame.
On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification. These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.
For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.
You are encouraged to visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security. Please also visit the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to see information on entry restrictions, foreign quarantine policies, and urgent health information provided by local governments.
Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.
If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:
- Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
- Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
- Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
- Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
- Visit our Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States
- Visit Keeping workplaces, homes, schools, or commercial establishments safe.
- As of March 17, 2020, the United States Embassy in Colombo Sri Lanka is cancelling routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. At this time your visa appointment is cancelled. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at www.ustraveldocs.com/lk/index.html to request an emergency appointment.
- Maldives has confirmed 13 cases of COVID-19 within its borders, 5 of whom have recovered.
- Cases have been identified throughout the country. Islands with confirmed COVID-19 patients have been placed under travel lockdown, with arrivals and departures to those islands prohibited.
- The government is taking active steps to prevent further spreading, including travel restrictions, voluntary isolation, and mandatory quarantines.
- On March 17, 2020, the Director-General of Public Health ordered all guesthouses and city hotels operating in the Maldives to suspend all tourist check-ins, for a period of 14 days. However, tourists who have already checked-in shall be allowed to stay for the duration of their booking.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
Individuals with travel from the below countries or regions within 14 days prior to travel will not be allowed to enter or transit Maldives. This list may be expanded with little advance notice. Travelers are encouraged to check travel restrictions with their airline.
- China (effective 4 February)
- Iran (effective 26 February)
- Italy (effective 8 March)
- Bangladesh (effective 10 March)
- South Korea (Daegu, Busan, Gyeonbuk and Gyeongnam). (effective 9 March)
- Germany (Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Wurttemberg) (effective 15 March)
- Spain (effective 15 March)
- France (Île-de-France and Grand Est) (effective 15 March)
- Malaysia, effective 17 March – 18:00hrs
- United Kingdom, effective 19 March 2020
– Cruise ship arrivals are halted (effective 26 February)
- Travelers are required to fill out a health questionnaire upon arrival.
- Thermal scans are being conducted on travelers at Velana International Airport, Addu International Airport, and Hanimaadhoo International Airport.
- On 19 March 2020, the Director-General of Public Health ordered the closure of all spas in the country (including those operating in saloons), except for those operating in resorts until further notice.
- On 19 March 2020, the Director-General of Public Health banned the entry of all passenger vessels, safari boats and yachts from abroad.
– The Embassy has been notified that the following airlines are currently operating out of Maldives, please contact these airlines directly for questions on flight availability: Qatar, Edelweiss, Aeroflot, and Emirates. This list may not be all inclusive and can change at short notice. Travelers are encouraged to contact their carriers for assistance.
- On 24 March 2020, following the Director-General of Public Health’s announcement that all incoming passengers will be quarantined for 14 days, the Ministry of Economic Development announced new restrictions for foreign nationals working in the Maldives. All foreign nationals arriving in the Maldives for employment, including new Employment Approval holders and existing Work Visa holders, are advised to travel to the Maldives only after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Economic Development 48 hours in advance. Failure to comply with the notice will result in the denial of entry.
- Maldives Ministry of Health has published a COVID-19 Local Updates webpage as well as the Maldives Health Protection Agency.
- The World Health Organization Maldives page provides some additional information about COVID-19
- The U.S. Embassy has a list of medical providers in country.
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- Travel.state.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page.