Maldives Tourism Ministry announces that guesthouses in residential islands will be permitted to reopen for international tourists starting October 15, 2020.

According to a tweet by MOT, permits will be issued based on the consent from Island Council and criteria and guidelines by HPA and HEOC. A press conference will be held tomorrow by the Tourism Ministry to provide more information on the subject.

All the guesthouses have been closed since March due to the declare of Public Health Emergency in the country. The Maldives has reopened its international borders on July 15, 2020, and allowed tourist resorts and liveaboard vessels to resume operations, while guesthouses remained closed for international tourists. However, several guesthouses and hotels in the greater Male’ region have been allowed to reopen as transit facilities.

Although the ‘Safe Tourism Guideline’ by HPA and MOT previously stated that guesthouses will be permitted in August, it was delayed due to the increase in the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The government then estimated that guesthouses will be able to reopen by early September.

Guesthouses are the primary source of income for many local communities. And guesthouse operators, who are under a great financial strain, have expressed concern over the continued closure of guesthouses, especially through the summer holidays, a high-income period for guesthouses.

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