The Maldives has eliminated pre-arrival testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, becoming the latest destination to lift pandemic-era travel protocols.
The new rules, which went into effect on March 5, will eliminate the on-arrival PCR testing and make it easier than ever to visit the island paradise, according to the Ministry of Tourism for the Maldives. Additionally, vaccinated travelers who remain on an inhabited island will no longer be required to show a PCR test upon departure.
All travelers who arrive in the Maldives will still be required to complete a Traveler Health Declaration form within 48 hours of their flight. Unvaccinated travelers will still be required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure. Children under 1 are exempt.
The Maldives considers travelers fully vaccinated if at least 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of their initial vaccine series. A booster shot is not required to be considered fully vaccinated.
Previously, travelers were required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of their trip and fill out a Traveler Health Declaration, according to the U.S. Mission to Maldives. Travelers also had to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of checking out of a guesthouse on any inhabited island.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently classifies the Maldives as a “Level 4” destination, indicating a “very high” level of COVID-19 transmission in the country and warning Americans to “avoid” traveling there.
The relaxing of restrictions puts the Maldives in line with other countries around the world that have eased entry protocols or done away with them completely. This week, Ireland removed all COVID-19-related travel restrictions, regardless of vaccination status. And Iceland did the same last month, also eliminating border protocols for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Additionally, France is waiving all pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travelers and Israel started welcoming unvaccinated travelers, but with strict testing protocols in place.
In the United States, Puerto Rico will eliminate all pandemic-related border restrictions for domestic travelers this week, and Hawaii plans to end its Safe Travels program for domestic visitors later this month.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.