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After months of a pandemic shutdown, flights have resumed between India and Maldives.
South Asia’s first air bubble is all set to start between the two countries from next week after all flight operations were cancelled in March, announced Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during a virtual meeting with his Maldivian counterpart Abdullah Shahid.
The government in Maldives had opened its borders on July 15 to tourists, and as of now there are no quarantine restrictions. According to reports from the island country, tourists are taken straight to their resorts from the airport without a stopover at Male. They are not allowed to go for any sightseeing or island hopping.
Maldives is heavily dependent on tourism, and especially on Indian tourists, as India happens to be its second fastest growing tourist market. According to the Indian High Commissioner to Maldives, Sanjay Sudhit, the air bubble will not only boost tourism in Maldives but also regularise the flow of people coming to India from there for medical treatment.
Maldives has had a total of 6,370 cases of coronavirus until now, and 24 deaths.
The opening of the air bubble will be a major step in getting back to normalcy and ensuring a revival of the economy of both the countries.
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