The first PCR sampling station has been established in Hulhumale for guests staying on liveaboard vessels to get tested for coronavirus before their departure from the Maldives.

The station was installed by the National Boating Association of Maldives (NBAM), together with the ministry, Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Health Protection Agency (HPA), and police, following a tourism ministry circular on Monday regarding PCR tests for departing tourists.

The tourism ministry has stated that vessels operating or cruising across the country may coordinate with the atoll or regional hospital focal points and make arrangements for sampling. However, safari vessels are required to keep a stock of UTM test kits and make arrangements of sample transportation through atoll collection points or any other means of transportation.

A special testing hut is in place near the jetty area in Hulhumale, which is a proactive initiative proposed by NBAM to the tourism ministry and HDC. The team coordinated well and set up the hut in five days to facilitate the departure testing for the liveaboard industry. The first sample was collected at the testing booth on 10th August 2020.

Furthermore, the tourism ministry also advises all facilities to follow guidelines set by all relevant authorities and reminded to ensure that tourists who require a test result for their outbound flight or onward destination are not taken to the airport for departure without a negative test result on hand.

Details of the guests to be tested must be shared in advance via email ([email protected]) or by calling +960 7970033, in order to prebook and make the sampling arrangements. Boat operators must also ensure that the samples are taken sufficiently in advance to ensure enough time for tests to be run in time for the departure flights.

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