Maldives are safe for travellers, tourism chiefs declare

The island state remains stable following the declaration of a state of emergency

Despite the fact that the Indian Ocean tropical paradise has been under a 15-day state of emergency since Monday, the Maldives Ministry of Tourism emphasised that all tourism-related businesses across the country will proceed without interruptions over the period.

Despite the political turmoil, there is no restriction or difficulty to tourists visiting the Maldives — Shutterstock safe
Despite the political turmoil, there is no restriction or difficulty to tourists visiting the Maldives — Shutterstock

“The state of emergency does not force any restrictions on travelling to the Maldives or within the Maldives,” the tourism ministry said in a statement.

“All international airports including Velana International airport and all domestic airports, tourist resorts, resort hotels, tourist guest houses, safari boats [and] marinas are in full operation.

“International and domestic flights, seaplane operations and all modes of transport are in operation.

“Public safety is of paramount importance and the government assures the safety of the destination.”

The turmoil in the small but densely inhabited capital of Malé started when the country’s president, Abdulla Yameen, ordered the military police to storm the Supreme Court in the aftermath of the judges’ decision to release some of Yameen’s political opponents.

Instead of freeing the prisoners, Yameen ordered the arrest of two Justices of the Supreme Court and the country’s former president who had been sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Parliamentary opposition has called for international help amid concerns over “police violence… and the increased militarisation of the country”.

37 MPs signed a resolution warning that the situation could escalate to “civil unrest”.

The UK’s Foreign Office, as well as the governments of India, China and the United States, have issued a warning to tourists to “exercise caution and avoid any protests or rallies”.   

Ahmed Shiaan, ambassador of the Maldives to the UK, said: “The Maldives remains stable following the declaration of the state of emergency.”