Shops open from 09:00 am to 09:00 pm as lockdown eased in capital

Customers wear masks as they wait outside a shop in Male' City on June 1, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Economic Ministry has announced shops will be permitted to open for customers from 09:00 am to 9:00 pm starting this Monday, as Maldives rolls back coronavirus measures in the capital.

The residents of Male’ City and its suburbs Hulhumale’ and Vilimale’ were allowed to venture out of their homes without a special permit for the first time in two months this Monday, and the Economic Ministry has authorized the expansion of business activities.

Economic Ministry announced in a statement that shops located in Male’ City, Hulhumale’ and Vilimale’ will be permitted to open their businesses for walk-in customers from 09:00 am to 9:00 pm, and will be permitted to continue providing delivery services until 10:00 pm.

Economic Ministry has called for shop operators to comply with Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s instructions in proving in-shop services and delivery services.

While residents of the capital are now allowed to go out without a special permit, a curfew will be in effect from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am.

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic four days later on March 11.

While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15, prompting a city-wide lockdown and a nationwide ban on nonessential travel.

The populous Male’ City has since become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, contributing to over 90 percent of the total cases.

Maldives has confirmed 2,035 coronavirus cases, out of whom 1,311 have received and eight have died from complications.

34 percent of the 2,035 coronavirus cases in the country are Maldivians, while the remaining 66 percent are foreign nationals. 1,074 people – making for 52 percent of total coronavirus cases – are Bangladeshis. The rest of the coronavirus cases include 710 Maldivians, 192 Indians, 28 Nepalese, and 11 Italians and 11 Sri Lankans.