Photo credit: Club Gabbiano
Health Minister Abdulla Ameen has announced that the Maldivian government has delayed the reopening of guesthouses and hotels in residential islands for international tourists. As per the “Safe Tourism Guideline”, the guesthouses were previously planned to reopen in August.
Speaking at the virtual inauguration of COVID-19 management facilities in Addu City, Fuvahmulah City, and H. A, Minister Ameen said that the government reviewed its earlier decision, after accessing the current rate of the coronavirus spread in the Maldives. He further said that the new reopening date for guesthouses will be announced after August 15, once they review the situation of coronavirus spread.
Minister Ameen continues saying that the government will continue to monitor and implement necessary restrictions, and ensure that the restrictions cause as little disruption to public movement, business activities, and transport as possible.
“Based on the current numbers or the epidemic trends, and the identification of cases in atolls, we expect to reopen guesthouses in early September,” he said.
The Maldivian government reopened its international borders on July 15, after four months of lockdown. The government has permitted resorts and hotels in non-residential islands to reopen, yet to eliminate more outbreaks in local communities, the guesthouses, and hotels in residential islands remain closed for international tourists.
The guesthouse business has bloomed in the past few years in the Maldives and is the primary source of income for many local communities. However, with the pandemic, many business owners are facing huge financial difficulties and struggling to keep the business afloat until the reopening for tourists.
The decision to postpone the reopening of guesthouses in residential islands comes as the Maldives faces a surge in coronavirus cases with the relaxation of lockdown measures.
The Maldives recorded 77 new cases this Saturday, with a total of 3,252 confirmed coronavirus cases, 2,534 recovered, and 15 have died from complications.