What Tourists Should Know About the Maldives’ State of Emergency

Stay vigilant and safe especially if you’re currently traveling in the tropical nation.

Trouble in paradise.

The Maldives, a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean, is a renowned tourist destination thanks to its turquoise lagoons, postcard-perfect beaches, and rich marine life.

However, the island country is now in a State of Emergency due to deepening political crisis, leaving both locals and tourists anxious about the situation.

For the uninitiated, the Maldivian parliament has just approved a 30-day extension of a State of Emergency sought by President Abdulla Yameen who cited an ongoing national security threat and constitutional crisis.

Tension has been mounting after the president defied the Supreme Court’s order to release opposition party members and in turn dispatched the military to blockade the courtroom.

Just what does this mean for travelers?

According to a statement released by the Maldives government in early February: “All tourism related businesses will be operating as usual and the situation of the Maldives remains stable.”

For travelers who are currently in the Maldives or who do not wish to cancel their upcoming trips, here’s what to do:

  1. If you are currently in Male or the surrounding islands, it is advised to stay away from protests and large public gatherings.
  2. Register with your local Ministry of Foreign Affairs or your country’s embassy in Maldives so that you can be contacted in the event of an emergency.
  3. Contact your travel insurer to confirm the status of your coverage.
  4. Maintain contact with your family and friends at home, to ensure their peace of mind.
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