Ban on international tourists from guesthouses, city hotels extended indefinitely

Tourists take a stroll down a street in K. Maafushi, a residential island popular for local tourism. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

The Director General of Public Health, Maimoona Aboobakuru, on Tuesday, issued an order for an indefinite extension to the suspension of the check-in of international tourists to guesthouses and city hotels in Maldives.

The new order is effective from 18:00 hours this Tuesday.

It comes just as a previous order, issued on March 17, for a ban on international tourists from guesthouses and city hotels for a two-week period, is scheduled to expire this Tuesday.

Maldives has declared a state of public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic, granting the Director General of Public Health special powers under Section 34 (b) of the Public Health Act to take additional measures to ascertain public health during the period.

18 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maldives, including two Italian nationals who had departed from Maldives before they were identified as virus patients.

13 of them, all of whom are foreign nationals who were either vacationing or working in resorts or safaris, have since recovered.

The number of active cases now stands at three; all of whom are Maldivian nationals who recently returned from the UK. They have been in quarantine since returning to Maldives, as is now mandatory for all inbound passengers, with the exception of tourists with resort bookings.