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COVID-19: Universal’s resorts to close for three months

Mariyam Malsa
20 March 2020, MVT 09:57
Chairman of Universal Enterprises Private Limited Umar Manik. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
20 March 2020, MVT 09:57

Universal Enterprises Private Limited, on Thursday, decided to close their resorts for three months in response to several cancellations and a reduction in tourist arrivals as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release issued by Universal Enterprises, the eight resorts operated by the company will temporarily close from April onwards.

Universal Enterprises stated that workers at their resorts would receive their salaries over the three-month closure under special package. The company also assured that all employees would receive salary and service charge for March.

Overall, more than 3,200 are employed at Universal Enterprises.

Expressing hopes of reverting to normal conditions as swiftly as possible, Universal stated that the decision to temporarily suspend operations would be re-evaluated on a monthly basis.

Villa Group has also decided to close four resorts over the COVID-19 pandemic, transferring all bookings to Paradise Island Resort, the only resort managed by the company that remains in operation at present.

On Thursday, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) enacted monitoring measures on Paradise Island Resort after 10 individuals on the island developed symptoms for COVID-19.

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.

In an effort to prevent the rapid spread of the virus Maldives has banned entry from China, Italy, Iran, Bangladesh, Spain, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, as well as parts of South Korea, France and Germany.

Furthermore, the government announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, under which the government has implemented several measures. This includes travel restrictions to and from resorts, and temporary suspension of tourist check-ins in guesthouses and hotels around the country.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 220,800 and claimed over 8,980 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 85,770 have recovered.

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