The Maldives, a tropical island nation comprising of about 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, has reopened to tourists. Credit: Handout.

While some nations in Africa are seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases, the exotic Maldives has reopened to tourism and is inviting visitors worldwide to rediscover the “sunny side of life.”

Economic Development Minister Fayyaz Ismail of the Maldives has assured that it is safe for tourists to visit the country as its airport is reopened to international tourists after four months, Xinhua reported.

At a special ceremony held on Wednesday at the Velana International Airport, a A350 flight operated by the Qatar Airways landed at 8:26 am and received a traditional water salute.

The flight carried 127 passengers which included 103 tourists, all from European countries, Xinhua reported.

Talking to journalists after the welcoming ceremony, Fayyaaz, also the acting head of the Tourism Ministry said that the Maldives had put up a strong fight against the Covid-19 and now the country had good testing facilities and backup facilities, local media reported.

Inviting all tourists to visit and “rediscover the sunny side of life,” he said that the Maldives had the best system to ensure the safety of the tourists, Xinhua reported.

The government was working to bring in more tourists through discussions with top tourism markets in consideration with the threat of Covid-19 and their precautions, he added.

President Ibrahim Solih visited the Velana International Airport on Tuesday to inspect precautionary measures, including screening arrivals for Covid-19 symptoms, enforcing social distancing and good hygiene, and expanding testing capacity, Xinhua reported.

Tourists are not required to pay an additional fee, produce a certificate or test result indicative of negative status for Covid-19 prior to entry into the Maldives, CGTN.com reported.

For tourists without symptoms, there is no requirement for quarantine either. The guideline will be periodically reviewed based on further developments

Maldives noted a record 1.7 million tourist arrivals in 2019 and hopes to attract 850,000 visitors by the end of this year despite shocks from the pandemic.

The spectacular Maldives has reopened to tourism, amid strict safety measures, officials said. Credit: Handout.

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