People who travel, all feel down being stuck in the same dreary place amidst the global pandemic. The craving for fresh air, new people, new food, new culture, doesn’t it all seem like a farfetched dream? With Bangladesh being in the red zone, it is pretty much impossible to travel abroad, to say the least. Even travelling along the country is so dangerous with so much risk and morbidity of the accelerating cases of the coronavirus.
Yet, would it not be a dream come true if we could go to one of the most beautiful, exotic places in the world, away from the noise and dust of our cities? Glistening, crystal clear water amalgamated with exquisite shades of cerulean ripples, strips of land with greenery along with small hut-like resorts here and there separated by the ocean, the air encompassing tranquillity and love, floating resorts built with art and passion with food incredible than any other, soft sand, snowy and light as if they are made of inedible marshmallows - the Maldives. Yes, the Maldives is the country with around 1,000 floating islands, bringing the closest thing we can imagine of heaven right here on earth with infinity pools, floating breakfasts amidst the clear, serene water, and opportunities. Previously travellers from South Asia were temporarily barred from visiting the Maldives from May 13 due to a rise in the COVID cases. However, fortunately, for the dwellers of South Asia including us Bangladeshis, the border to the Maldives has finally opened again from July 15, 2021, as the COVID situation is significantly under control there now!
With the reopening of tourism in the Maldives, we have a better chance to visit this heavenly place before it sadly sinks down due to global warming and climate change. Why is the Maldives a comparatively safer place for us to take a tour to? Well, if you don’t already know, there are so many exotic islands that are far apart from each other, which mean a lesser chance of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. The classic Maldives vacation sees visitors sequestered in their wee, lovely, villas, perusing various fish from their respective decks, sunbathing, and revelling in their in-villa meals in their very own small cocoon, far away from any dense crowd. As dreamy as it may all sound, if you want to enter and enjoy all these glamorous and ravishing, yet heartwarming benefits of the Maldives, you will have to follow the country’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
At the moment, travellers from all other countries can visit the Maldives as long as they show confirmation of a negative COVID test. All newcomers, excluding Maldives nationals and fully vaccinated individuals, must produce a certificate of a negative PCR test performed within 96 hours of leaving, clearly displaying the contact details of the laboratory, as well as the date of the sample taken. The outcome must be linked to the Traveler Health Declaration form, which can be filed digitally 24 hours before arrival. Guests are encouraged to install and utilise the TraceEkee national contact tracing app throughout their visit.
The distance between Bangladesh and Maldives is 2,850 km. It takes approximately 7h 31m to get from Bangladesh to the Maldives, including transfers. The Maldives is only one hour behind Bangladesh. So if you are reading this article now, currently Maldivian, Sri Lankan Airlines and Gulf Air Bahrain offer flights from Dhaka Airport to Male Airport. It costs approximately BDT 30,000 - BDT 50,000 to travel from Bangladesh to the Maldives, depending on the airline you use. You can book a hotel room or a place to live in the Maldives simply from booking.com and take help from different local agencies and travel guides in Bangladesh like TripAdvisor to plan out your tour.
Because of the seclusion of most hotels and the fact that the great majority of tourists stay in-resort rather than go out, the Maldives are marking themselves as a place offering a "normal" holiday. It is indeed time to go for the ultimate heaven on Earth, for those of us who can stick to the COVID-19 restrictions. After all, we do need a breath of the ‘old normal’, despite the ‘new normal’ once in a while, don’t we?