Fire and rescue services
Call 102 or go directly to the hospital.
You can also call the tourist police on 979 0070.
Exercise normal safety precautions in the Maldives overall.
Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Protests and demonstrations have been frequent in Malé since February 2015.
To stay safe:
Terrorist attacks are possible in the Maldives. Possible targets include:
On 4 February 2020, three foreigners, including an Australian received stab injuries in Hulhumalé Island near the main airport in Maldives. Maldivian extremists claimed responsibility.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Drug-related crime occurs in Malé.
Gang-related violence, including knife crime, has increased in urban areas, including Malé.
Petty theft happens on beaches and from hotel rooms.
To protect yourself from petty theft:
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
The monsoon season is from mid-May to November. Strong winds, rough seas and torrential rain can happen.
If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities, or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings, such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, check local media.
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in the Maldives. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
There is a risk of insect-borne diseases in the Maldives. These include:
Zika virus is a risk to pregnant women. Read the Australian Department of Health's Zika virus bulletin for advice on how to reduce your risk.
If you're pregnant:
To protect yourself against insect bites:
Waterborne, foodborne and other diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Hospital services, including rescue and emergency services, are limited.
There are 2 general hospitals in Malé. They offer general medical and some specialist services. There is 1 private hospital in Malé offering a wider range of services.
It can take several hours to reach a hospital from resort islands.
There are 5 decompression chambers in the Maldives. It may take several hours to reach these in an emergency. Dive within safety limits.
If you become ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include mandatory jail sentences.
If you're caught with even a small amount of illegal drugs, you can be charged with trafficking. Life imprisonment is a penalty.
The death penalty can apply for serious crimes, such as murder.
In the Maldives it's illegal to:
It is illegal to:
Same-sex sexual acts are illegal in the Maldives.
A permit is no longer required to visit a non-resort island.
Provided you have entered the Maldives with a valid visa, you have permission to travel to any part of the country.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in most parts of the Maldives.
Dress modestly in Malé and on non-resort islands.
Take care not to offend. Public displays of affection outside of resorts are likely to cause offence.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan will be from late April to late May in 2020. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
Avoid eating, drinking and smoking around people who are fasting.
Resort islands often don't need to follow the rules of Ramadan. Check with your hotel or with locals.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You can apply for a 30-day visa on arrival if:
In other situations, you need to get a visa before you travel.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration of the Republic of Maldives for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Entry measures for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, expect additional health screening at entry points. Follow the advice of local authorities. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your doctor before travelling.
The Maldivian Government has temporarily suspended entry to foreigners who have travelled through, mainland China.
Yellow fever vaccination
You need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter the Maldives if you're coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever. Some airlines may want to see one when you leave.
Find out about returning to Australia after exposure to yellow fever.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible.
The local currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR).
You can change money at resorts. You can also change money and use ATMs at banks in Malé and many larger islands.
Carry cash if you're travelling to other areas.
Most hotels and major tourist facilities accept credit cards.
Travel between islands is by boat or seaplane.
To drive in the Maldives, you'll need both:
Driving without an IDP could void your travel and vehicle insurance.
There are few roads and vehicles in the Maldives.
Check with your travel insurer to see if you're covered to use a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Most helmets you can buy or rent in the Maldives don't meet Australian standards.
Only use licensed taxis and limousines. Ask your hotel to arrange taxis.
Many resorts operate water taxis between the airport and other islands.
Always wear a life jacket, even if others don't.
Public transport options are limited on land.
Ferries operate between major islands.
Contact your hotel for details.
International cruise lines stop over in the Maldives.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check the Maldives' air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 102 or go directly to the hospital.
You can also call the tourist police on 979 0070.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in the Maldives.
The Australian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka, provides consular services to Australians in the Maldives.
21, Srimath RG Senanayake Mawatha
Colombo 7, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 11 246 3200
Fax: +94 11 268 6453
Facebook: Australia in Sri Lanka and Maldives
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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