The Maldives is hoping to welcome back tourists by offering vaccines on arrival
The country is hoping to welcome back fully vaccinated tourists "very soon" - possibly as early as next week.
The Maldives will soon offer incoming visitors vaccinations on arrival in an attempt to revive the country's tourism sector.
The three-pronged strategy entitled "3V" will encourage tourists to “visit, vaccinate, and vacation” in the country, according to Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom.
He told CNBC that at present, visitors to the Maldives must provide a negative test and proof of a hotel booking to gain entry into the country.
However, the country’s Health Protection Agency is set to make an announcement on offering restriction-free entry to vaccinated arrivals “very soon, maybe even this week.”
He said that the government’s priority is to ensure the entire population receives their first and second dose, before bringing in the policy. Once the vaccination rollout is complete, they will then be ready to begin vaccinating incoming travellers.
Roughly 53% of the island nation have received their first vaccine so far, according to Reuters’ vaccination tracker. Meanwhile, 90% of front-line tourism staff have already received their first dose.
It is unknown whether or not tourists will have to pay to receive the jab, although, the Minister said that supply will not be an issue.
He said the country has ordered additional supplies from Singapore and has received vaccine donations from India, China, and the World Health Organization.
“I don’t think supply is a problem in the Maldives because our population is relatively small, the quota we get from the various organizations and friendly nations also will help," he said.
Around 67% of the gross domestic product in the Maldives is derived directly and indirectly from the country's tourism sector.