2 resort workers arrested after fleeing to Fuvahmulah in violation of travel ban

An aerial shot of Fuvahmulah City. (File Photo)

Maldives Police Service, on Friday, arrested two local resort workers who travelled to Fuvahmulah City in violation of a travel ban in effect between resorts and residential islands as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Maldives.

The two resort workers, identified as a 29-year-old male and a 30-year-old male, had left the resort, located in K. Atoll, on Thursday, March 19, after making private transport arrangements.

They travelled to Male’ City, from whether they boarded a plane to Fuvahmulah City on Friday night.

They were arrested from Fuvahmulah City for violation of the travel ban order at 11:25, the same night.

Maldives, on March 12, declared a state of public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic, granting the Director General of Public Health the authority to impose special measures to prevent and contain a potential outbreak in Maldives.

One of the special measures is a ban on travel of persons between resorts and residential islands from March 14 to 28.

The latest violation of the travel ban comes after a worker from South Palm Resort swam to the residential island of Hithadhoo, Addu City, two days into the ban, on March 16. The worker was arrested, and has been remanded to 15 days in jail.

13 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maldives, all of whom are foreign nationals who were either working or vacationing in resorts or safaris. Of the 13 people, five were from Kuredu Island Resort, two from Sandies Bathala, two from Kuramathi Island Resort, two from Anantara Dhigu, and two from Island Safari-1.

11 people continued to be treated, while two have recovered and are undergoing 14 more days under quarantine as a precautionary measure.