During a recent interview with CNBC, Maldives Tourism Minister, Abdulla Mausoom announced the island nation’s plans to introduce a “vaccine on arrival” scheme as part of its “three-pronged initiative” aimed at reviving the country’s hard-hit tourism sector.
Dubbed 3V, the strategy aims to encourage travellers to “visit, vaccinate, and vacation” in the Maldives. According to the Reuters vaccination tracker, 90% of front-line tourism staff have received their first dose and so have around 53% of the island nation’s approximately 530,000 residents.
Mausoom told CNBC, that with the country’s relatively small population, its vaccine supplies donated from India, China, and the World Health Organisation’s Covax scheme, plus additional doses from Singapore, should be sufficient to cover the country and tourists too. He did not confirm whether visitors will need to pay for their shots.
The Maldives was among the first tourist destinations to reopen to visitors in 2020 and is one of the few countries currently open to South African travellers. The nation’s scattered islands offer guests a variety of isolated luxury retreats where social distancing is given. From this week, there is no quarantine requirement for those travelling to an island in the chain where at least 60% of the population has been fully vaccinated. It currently requires a negative PCR test for all visitors, but it will be waiving that rule for fully vaccinated people soon.
Read More | The latest travel restrictions on South Africa
An official launch date for the Maldives tourist vaccine scheme has not been confirmed yet, the Maldivian government said intends to have many of the country’s tourist resorts open during July and August. Mausoom said the initiative will only start once the entire population have been vaccinated.
For any South Africans interested in getting vaccinated on vacation, return flights are currently selling for around R16,000 per person. That does not include the two-week accommodation costs that will be required to receive two doses of a coronavirus vaccine. For more info on flights, visit CheapFlights.
Find more trending content, right here.
All Photos by Asad Photo Maldives | Pexels