Does the requirement for a negative PCR test result during departure from the Maldives put the country in a much safer, precautionary position, or does it distract new bookings? What does the industry or nation achieve from this requirement?

PUBLISHED December 10, 2020

Abdulla Nasheed
Managing Director - Kaani Hotels
President - Guesthouse Association of Maldives
It is a good business for laboratory owners. However, 70% of the bookings get cancelled as soon as they know about the PCR test sampling during departure.
In my opinion, this is a thoughtful decision. This would help save or mitigate any unforeseeable disasters. I suggest that we offer this test at a reasonable price.
I would like to believe that this is among those measures we have taken with no reasoning at all behind it. No one would want an enjoyable holiday, only to have such a stressful ending. This has no benefit to the industry or to the economy. I am confident that this requirement would be changed by the authorities very soon.
The PCR test is mandatory at arrival and departure. Tourists should neither carry the virus when they leave the Maldives, nor should they be suspected for carrying the virus out of the country. This will keep the Maldives and other destinations safe. I believe this practice is good for the beginning.
The added pressure of a test and the financial implications of a positive result – even a false positive – means that a large number of tourists will be put off from coming in to the Maldives. This will hinder the industry rather than support it, especially given that each arrival is tested before departure.
Unless the transit country or arriving country truly needs it, I believe it is a useless distraction.