On Thusday (15 Octorber 2020), The Maldives has restarted its local island tourism with the reopening of guesthouses in residential islands.

According to Tourism Ministry as of 15th Octorber, 23 guesthouses from 9 residential islands has been permitted to resume operations.

The nine islands have prepared the necessary, precautionary measures in accordance with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines, to ensure the safety of guests and locals, stated the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC). Tourism Ministry’s Senior Executive Director Ali Razzan stated the number of guesthouses that are permitted to reopen is expected to increase in the future. 

The eight residential islands which reopened guesthouses are K. Maafushi, K. Huraa, V. Thinadhoo, N. Fodhdhoo, K.Guraidhoo, AA. Mathiveri,  AA. Ukulhas and V. Fulidhoo.

Joining the HEOC press conference on Wednesday night, Razzan stated that it is the responsibility of local councils to check that the guesthouses meet requirements in accordance with HPA guidelines and verify it for the Tourism Ministry.

Guesthouses that wish to recommence activities, will provide authorities with a COVID-19 safe plan, which will be reviewed by the ministry of tourism. Then, the local council of the respective islands will visit the properties to ensure that the appropriate health and safety measures have been taken. 

Each guesthouse is required to establish a focal point, and to have rooms designated for quarantine and isolation. The guesthouses with over 500 tourist beds are required to allocate a minimum of 15 beds for quarantine and isolation purposes, as a precaution, and islands with 100 to 500 tourist beds are required to have a minimum eight rooms, as well as islands with less than 100 tourist beds expected to have a minimum of five rooms. Signage and posters must be placed around the premises to kindly remind guests of the basic requirements of PPE- the Personal Protective Equipment.

Procedure for guesthouses to restart tourism in the Maldives 

– the island council shall submit the consent form to ministry

– Guesthouses shall submit standard operating procedures

– submit a declaration form

– Submit operating license (copy)

Guesthouses are to email all the documents to [email protected]. The SOP contents and the forms are available from the tourism ministry website.

Please read the full guideline here

The Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoon also visited Maafushi on an invitation from their local council and guesthouses to welcome the first guesthouses arriving to the local island.

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