Maldives temporarily bans Indians from tourist facilities in inhabited islands

As the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in India, several countries have imposed a travel ban on Indian tourists. This comes as a no shocker as the Maldives joins the list. According to statistics published and publicised by the Tourism Ministry, Indians made up 11.3% of the total tourist population in the Maldives in 2020. 

Under the current situation, Maldives will temporarily be suspending all Indian tourists from the residential Maldivian islands staying in guesthouses and local hotels. This ban is not for facilities that are away from the local population. 

This restriction will come into immediate effect from 27th April 2021. The order was released and signed by the Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakr. 

The Ministry of tourism added, “We thank you for the support in our endeavour to make tourism safest possible with minimum inconvenience.” 

As per the new travel restrict orders:

  • Travellersout vacationing stars from India to Maldives (including those who have spent over 24 hours in transit in India) need to present a negative PCR test (not older than 92 hours), including fully vaccinated people. 
  • Maldivian citizens and work permit holders arriving from India need to get a PCR test done within 24 hours upon arrival. They also need to quarantine themselves for 10 days. Their quarantine period will get over once they have been tested negative on the tenth day. Children under the age of one are not included. 
  • Indian tourists must get their tests done before leaving the Maldives. 

Although Indian tourists are not allowed to inhabit any tourist facilities on the residential island from 27th April, those who have already checked into hotels and guesthouses will be allowed to stay till their booking period isn’t complete. 

Why was everyone travelling to the Maldives? 

Along with the beautiful location and facilities, Maldives offers various reasons for it to become a luring vacation spot. “The Maldives is one of the most popular holiday destinations among travellers, not just in India, but from around the world,” Vistara’s Chief Executive Officer Leslie Thng said.

The ease of travel is one of the prime reasons for the surge in tourists there. The Maldives reopened the island for international tourists on 15th July 2020. The country also provided a 30-day free on-arrival visa with confirmed stay facilities. 

A drastic jump in holiday bookings was noted by several travel agencies. Special Vistara flights under a travel bubble agreement between India and Maldives last month was also launched. 

Why were Indian celebrities criticised for their vacation pictures in Maldives? 

A lot of celebrities were called out for their tone-deaf privileged vacation pictures especially from the Maldives. Some Indian celebrities were spotted holidaying amidst the beauty of the island while fellow Indians suffered due to the unavailability of proper healthcare facilities. This action was condemned by fellow celebrities and the masses in general. They were called out on their insensitivity. 

Some of the stars that were vacationing are Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Disha Patani, Janhvi Kapoor, and Shradha Kapoor. 

Some of the criticism that they received were as follows 

Do you think it is okay for celebrities to post their vacation pictures during a pandemic? 

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