Trouble in paradise: COVID-19

COVID-19 is spiking in the Maldives Image: Adobe Stock

Trouble in paradise: COVID-19 infections spike in the Maldives

South Africans thinking of taking a trip to the idyllic islands of the Maldives are warned that this may not be the best time to be holidaying there.

Trouble in paradise: COVID-19

COVID-19 is spiking in the Maldives Image: Adobe Stock

Zanzibar and the Maldives are regarded as attractive travel destinations for South Africans with both requiring no quarantine for international visitors.  

While advertisements punt the idyllic Maldives as an ideal getaway for South Africans with attractive holiday prices, direct flights, and children-stay-free deals, it is worth taking note that the Maldives is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections.


The Maldives reopened its borders to tourists in July last year.  The small island state was one of the first countries to reopen to international visitors last year in a bid to keep its tourism-dependent economy afloat

The Maldives is currently recording high COVID-19 infection rates despite a significant portion of its population already having received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


The COVID-19 spike in the Maldives is closely connected with the surge of infections in nearby India, due to the movement of people between the two countries.

A sizable number of visitors travelling to the Maldives originates from India, where COVID-19 are infections are currently spiking. Loyalty Lobby reports that 23% of Maldives’ foreign visitors are of Indian origin.

The rapid increase in daily COVID-19 cases recorded in the Maldives forced the United Kingdom to  add the Maldives to its “red list”, a list of destinations which Brits are discouraged from visiting since a mandatory self-funded hotel quarantine is required when returning to the United Kingdom.


The Maldives has taken action to safeguard its own people. The government has imposed a travel ban on visitors from a number of South Asian countries in the wake of the new COVID-19 outbreak. The government has also placed a curfew on residents living in the capital, Male, from 16.00 until 04.00.

Nationals from India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are not permitted to enter the Maldives. The entry ban came into effect on 13 May and will continue until further notice.


The Maldives has reintroduced a negative COVID-19 PCR test requirement for all arrivals, including those who have been already been vaccinated.  The test must be taken within 96 hours of departure for the Maldives.