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UK extends visas for Maldivians stranded over travel restrictions, self-isolation

Mariyam Malsa
26 March 2020, MVT 12:21
Flights at Velana International Airport. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
26 March 2020, MVT 12:21

The government of the United Kingdom will extend visas for Maldivians unable to leave the UK due to travel restrictions or imposed self-isolation.

Although the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)'s restrictions on inbound and transit flights from UK were implemented on March 19, the state has permitted Maldivian nationals and their spouses to enter the country. Such individuals will be placed under quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Furthermore, the British High Commission in Maldives urged all British citizens currently in Maldives to return as swiftly as possible while commercial routes remain available.

During a press conference held on Wednesday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih confirmed the indefinite suspension of all on-arrival visas effective from Friday.

According to British High Commissioner to Maldives Caron Rohsler, the opposite is advised for Maldivians who are residents in the UK.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 471,300 and claimed over 21,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 114, 600 have recovered.

Maldives now has 13 confirmed and five active cases of COVID-19, with total eight recoveries. So far, only tourists and resort employees have confirmed infections in Maldives with no record of local transmissions within the country. The first Maldivian tested positive for the virus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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