Quarantine Tourism Falls After Easing Middle East Entry Rules
The number of Indian expats who are quarantined in the Maldives has fallen dramatically as countries in the Middle East ease their entry requirements.
Countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman rely on workers coming from all over the world and especially from India.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, people coming from India were required to be quarantined for 15 days in another country and then present a negative PCR test result to be allowed back to their workplace.
The Maldives was in the list of the approved countries for quarantine. For expat workers, Maldives was expensive but their choices were limited to secure their job.
Many Indian workers had spent their quarantine in the Maldives. As a consequence, visitors from India had a significant impact on Maldives tourism, boosting the demand for guesthouses and causing the prices to soar roughly by 200%.
As part of COVID-19 prevention measures, tourists from India had to be examined manually at the airport check-in counters, sometimes forming very long queues going from the international departure terminal to the domestic terminal area, thus causing lengthy delays to other passengers.
Since expat workers can now go back to their workplace in Middle Eastern countries directly, expat workers from India no longer choose Maldives as their quarantine destination.
The situation at Malé International Airport has returned to normal and operations at departures and arrivals now proceed again smoothly as before.