Voters allowed to travel without quarantine

A young man waits in a beach in a Maldivian island. (File Photo/Mohamed Afrah)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has approved a temporary ease in COVID-19 travel restrictions to allow people to travel to islands to vote in the upcoming Local Council Elections without undergoing mandatory quarantine.

Local Council Elections is scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 10.

HPA issued an order signed by the Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakr on Thursday evening regarding domestic travel to vote in the Local Council Elections.

The order states that voters from greater Male’ region, resorts, safari vessels, islands with operational guesthouses, and islands under monitoring will be allowed to travel to islands where they are registered to vote in for 10 days without undergoing mandatory quarantine.

The change is effective from this Thursday to Sunday, April 11. 

While voters will be allowed to travel without mandatory quarantine during the period, they are subject to certain restrictions.  As such, they are:

  • Banned from visiting to other public locations expect for the polling stations (including teashops, cafes, restaurants)
  • Required to arrange accommodation and food separate from others
  • Banned from meeting other people, house visits
  • Required to return to the island they came from maximum 48 hours after voting.
  • Those quarantined or isolated in the island are required to go to polling stations at the designated time, or a time designated by Elections Commission
  • Required to inform local authorities the date of arrival, the duration of stay and accommodation prior to departure to the island
  • Required to adhere to HPA’s COVID-19 guidelines for Local Council Elections

The voter is required to travel unaccompanied and adhere to HPA’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Travelers from greater Male’ region and islands under monitoring were previously required to undergo 10 days of mandatory quarantine. While voters will be allowed respite from the restriction, those who travel for other purposes are required to undergo mandatory quarantine.