Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Strand Couple on Honeymoon in Paradise Olivia and Raul De Freitas set out for a six-day honeymoon in the Maldives on Sunday, March 22. Their travel agent encouraged them to enjoy their stay, adding that no matter any potential change in policy, they would be able to reenter South Africa, according to an account published by the New York Times.
The Maldives, a chain of over a thousand jewel-like islands in the Indian Ocean, is a hotspot for honeymooners and celebrities, beloved for its pristine white-sand beaches and luxury resorts.
The picturesque over-water villas promise ultimate privacy — almost like having the entire island to yourself, which is exactly the situation the De Freitas have found themselves in.
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According to the Times, the pair proceeded to reach out to the South African Consulate in the Maldives, as well as the closest South African Embassy, in nearby Sri Lanka, for assistance. They were notified by a representative over WhatsApp that they were among 40 South Africans stranded throughout the Maldives and that their best bet for getting home any time soon, would for the group to hire a chartered jet, paid for out of pocket. The cost? $104,000.
As many either refused to or could not pay their share, the option was eventually tabled.
Paradise in the midst of a pandemic looks a little different, the couple have learned.
Due to current government health regulations, all local resort workers must undergo a two-week quarantine following their last guests’ departure, the Times reports. They will be paid for that period of time, according to the hotel management.