Travel without quarantine after April 20 permitted

Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) last night announced conditions under which people will be permitted to travel from one island to another without quarantine after April 20. 

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had announced earlier that travel would be soon permitted for those who had completed both doses of the vaccines against COVID-19. 

A directive issued by the HPA last night and signed by the Director-General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru, read that quarantine was now no longer mandatory if the destination is an island where more than 60 percent of the entire eligible population had received vaccines against COVID-19.

The directive also read that individuals who had received both doses of the vaccine can now travel without quarantine after two weeks of receiving the second dose to islands where the percentage of vaccinations was above 60 percent. Policies to be followed regarding the travel easements were also announced by the HPA.

The directive read that a negative PCR test result is required if the percentage of positive cases is above five from the island where the individual is traveling from. A PCR negative test is also required for individuals who are not eligible for vaccinations if they are accompanying the vaccinated person. This means that if a minor who cannot receive the vaccine is required a negative PCR test if they are to travel with their parents. 

Inter-travel in the Maldives has been stopped due to the situation with the virus for almost a year, meaning that travelers are required to undergo a mandatory quarantine period of around 10-14 days if they travel or are only permitted to travel without quarantine under certain special exceptions such as on important work-related travels which require negative PCR tests.

Individuals who arrive in the Maldives from abroad, including tourists, are also no longer required to present a negative PCR test if they have completed both doses of the vaccine two weeks prior. They are also not required to undergo quarantine. 

However, certain individuals are exempt from these rules and still require a negative PCR test if arriving in the Maldives from abroad. They are:

  • Health workers or workers of any health center
  • Daycare center workers
  • School workers
  • Residential care service providers or workers of such a business

HPA said that it would announce islands with positive case rates above 5 percent and islands where more than 60 percent of the eligible population had received vaccines against the virus.  

A large number of people, almost 29,000, have received both doses of the vaccine in the Maldives. The Maldives is currently using the AZ vaccine as well as the Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines.