The Edition


Maldives Travel Updates: Malaysia and the United Kingdom face travel bans

Ahmed Aiham
17 March 2020, MVT 17:56
Maldives decided to impose travel restrictions on Malaysia and the United Kingdom on Tuesday. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
17 March 2020, MVT 17:56

The government on Tuesday, announced updated precautionary measures on inbound and transit flights, confirming restrictions to those travelling from Malaysia and the United Kingdom (UK).

The measures are intended to minimize the risk of further importing COVID-19 into the country.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will impose restrictions on Malaysia from 1800hrs on March 17, 1800 hrs and in the UK, effective from March 19 onwards.

All passengers and crew with travel history to restricted countries or regions within a 14 day period will be denied entrance into or transit through Maldives.

However, Maldivian nationals and their spouses will be permitted to enter the country, but they too will be subject to 14 days in quarantine.

Regions included under the travel ban

- Mainland China: Effective February 4.

- Iran: Effective February 26.

- North Gyeongsang Province and South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea: Effective March 3.

- Italy: Effective March 8.

- Bangladesh: Effective from March 10 to March 24.

- Spain: Effective March 15.

- Île-de-France and Grand Est, France: Effective March 15.

- Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg, Germany: Effective March 15.

- Malaysia: Effecetive March 17 - 1800 hrs.

- United Kingdom: Effective March 19.

In addition to the above, persons travelling in from other countries, including India and other European nations, may be subject to evaluation on a case by case basis.

Persons travelling from countries listed above may enter Maldives if they have spent more than 14 days in transit at a country that is not under a ban.

Nevertheless, health experts and travel consultants strongly advise that people refrain from travelling between countries at this time, including returning to one's home country. A person is still likely to contract the disease during travel, at the country of travel origin or even at the airport, as exposure to other individuals would be higher.

Given the incubation period for the disease, this person can carry the strain into the arriving destination with no knowledge of doing so. Should that happen, a number of vulnerable people could be exposed to the virus and spread it to the region once more.

Therefore, the safest decision is being vigilant about cleanliness, maintaining immunity, following the guidelines published by WHO and HPA, until the spread of COVID19 is globally contained.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 182,609 and claimed over 7,171 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 79, 883 have recovered.

Maldives currently has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including a tourist couple on a liveaboard, two cases from Anantara Dhigu, five foreign nationals from Kuredu Island Resort as well as two foreign citizens from Sandies Bathala and Kuramathi Maldives each. No locals have tested positive for the virus as of yet.