Effective May 12, The Maldives has been added to the UK  government’s “red list,” barring all travelers who have been in the island nation within the 10 days prior to arrival from entering the UK.

British and Irish nationals, visa holders, and permanent residents are exempt from the entry ban; however, all permitted arrivals from red-listed countries must self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days at their own expense.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement last Friday adding Maldives, Turkey and Nepal to UK’s travel red list of 43 countries.

Maldivian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement regarding the implications of the decision to Maldivian travellers. In the statement the ministry has urged travellers to the UK to be mindful of the new restrictions. The Maldives is now battling its worst surge of COVID-19 cases yet, with the daily case load above 700, and a sharp rise in fatalities.

UK is one of Maldives’ top sources of tourist arrivals and has shown promising signs of recovery since the reopening of the international borders of the island nation. However, the new restrictions is expected to have a significant impact on tourist arrivals.

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