With vaccination programmes continuing apace, the prospect of having a “vaxication”—a term coined to describe the first trip people take after getting their jabs—is closer to becoming reality.
The Maldives is best placed to receive an influx of travellers as its border has been open to international tourists since July 2020 and its set-up allows for natural social distancing. The local travel industry has also been quick to implement protocols including rapid testing upon arrival and before departure as well as when transferring resorts.
Apart from welcoming vaccinated travellers, it was recently reported that Dr Abdulla Mausoom, the Maldivian Minister of Tourism, has confirmed that they’re working on a 3V initiative, which stands for “visit, vaccinate, and vacation”.
It aims to offer travellers two doses of Covid-19 vaccines several weeks apart encouraging weeks-long stays in the island nation. The minister did highlight the shortfall in supply as a potential road bump and stressed that the country’s immunisation programme that began in February still prioritises residents with workers in the tourism industry getting inoculated first.
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With this positive news, it surely doesn’t hurt to daydream about lazing on a sandy atoll and there are plenty of new places to choose from. One is Ithaafushi—The Private Island, the latest addition to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives resort, which at nearly 345,000 sq ft makes it the largest of its kind in the country.
In Dhivehi, the local language of the Maldives, its name means “Pearl Island”, which befits this crown jewel of Hilton’s luxury portfolio in the region. The expansive private island has a two-bedroom overwater villa, a three-bedroom beach villa and a four-bedroom residence that together accommodate a total of 24 guests, who can spend their days relaxing by the myriad pools or snorkelling in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean.
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