Approval for Operation to be Granted to Guesthouses That Abide by Safety Guidelines

When the tourism industry of Maldives was brought to a halt due to COVID19, local guest houses were one of the establishments that was hit the hardest with its impacts. Operations were at a standstill since March 17, 2020. Initially it was decided that on August 1, 2020, guest houses can resume operations, however, in light of safety concerns of locals on the inhabited islands, the date was revised to October 15, 2020.

Photo: Maafushi Island

In the Press Conference held by HEOC last night, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Assad Riza announced that only those guesthouses that impose a safety guideline in alignment with HPA guidelines will be given approval for operation. Once guest house shares a COVID19 Safety Plan with the Ministry, Council members will inspect the establishment before processing the request.

Under the current requirements, guest houses are to be operated non-residential buildings. All guesthouses must facilitate separate isolation rooms in case a positive case is identified. In addition to that, facilities must be provided for staff who leave the premises to properly disinfect themselves beforehand.

Photo: Thoddoo Retreat

Deputy Minister highlighted the joint efforts by stakeholders of the industry, councils and HPA in curbing the effects of the pandemic and safely restarting the local tourism sector. He urged all parties to enforce the guidelines and be aware of their role in maintaining safety at all instances.
Guest houses in the Greater Male’ Region are yet to know their fate in reopening as HPA announced consideration after 28 consecutive days of positive cases being maintained under 5%.