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Guesthouse-goers to quarantine after departing island: HPA

Ahmed Aiham
27 September 2020, MVT 15:42
Kottafaru Guesthouse in Hanimaadhoo, Haa Dhaal Atoll. PHOTO: HAWWA AMANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION
Ahmed Aiham
27 September 2020, MVT 15:42

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Saturday, announced a revision to health guidelines, mandating a home-quarantine perod for those departing an island after vacationing at a local guesthouse.

Per the authority, the new regulations were introduced to reduce the possible transmission of the virus from one island community to another, similar to quarantine regulations already in place for those wishing to travel from the Greater Male' Region to local islands.

Moreover, travellers staying at resorts, who may thereafter (or within their stay period) depart to an island are also required to first isolate themselves for a period of 14 days.

Earlier in September, Ministry of Tourism declared that guesthouses across Maldives, excluding those located in the Greater Male' region, may resume services from October 15 onwards.

Under the ministry's guidelines, guesthouses seeking to restart operations must submit a permit, issued by the relevant island council, to the Tourism Ministry.

Island councils must then ensure that the island meets the following requirements before issuing permits to guesthouses:

- Isolation and quarantine facilities must be present on the island

- A COVID-19 taskforce must be actively operating on the island

- The island must have a designated vehicle to transport patients from guesthouses to facilities, in case a tourist test positive for the virus

- The hospital or health centre of the island must be equipped to deal with COVID-19 cases

- The hospital or health centre of the island must have an isolation room

- There must be enough human resources for sample collection

Following the submission of a permit, issued by the respective island council, the Tourism Ministry may grant a conditional permit to the guesthouse to complete the required preparations.

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