The Tourism Ministry of the Maldives has stated that only guesthouses that meet certain requirements will be permitted to reopen in October.
Guesthouses in the Maldives closed down operations around March, due to the situation with COVID-19. The government has since announced that guesthouses will be permitted to restart operations on October 15.
Speaking in a press conference last night, Deputy Tourism Minister Assad Riza said that only guesthouses with a COVID-19 safety plan will be permitted to reopen. Guesthouses are to forward these plans to the Ministry, upon which Councils in the island would inspect the facility to ensure that the safety measures are in place.
Designated rooms for isolation as well as a focal point must be designated from every guesthouse. Posters and signs for safety measures must be placed in the guesthouse and all employees of the guesthouse must be informed on how to operate under the safety measures. A sufficient amount of PPEs must also be kept in stock at the guesthouse.
Shower arrangements for staffers as well as a change of uniforms must be made available at the guesthouse before the staffers leave for the day.
Islanders must also be made aware of the safety measures and the situation and a flu clinic must be established in the island before the guesthouses are to reopen. A sufficient amount of PPEs and test kits must be kept in stock at the flu clinic as well.
The residents of the islands where guesthouses are operated are required to wear masks when outdoors and taxis are also required to place partitions inside the vehicle.
Guesthouses in the Male’ area will be permitted to reopen after the positive rate of test samples in the area are kept at five percent for 28 days. There are more than 10,000 beds in guesthouses in 86 islands. Guesthouses also employ more than 6,000 people. 10 percent of all tourist arrivals to the Maldives are guesthouse tourists.